Definition - What does Light-Bodied mean?

When referring to the characteristics of a wine,"light-bodied" is synonymous with the "weight" of the wine on one's palate. There are four main characteristics which make up the overall body of a wine; acid, tannin, sugar and alcohol. When referring to the body of a wine, it is pertaining to alcohol.

A light-bodied wine is one in which the alcohol is perceived only slightly or the alcohol content itself is lower in percentage.

WineFrog explains Light-Bodied

The body of a wine is categorized as follows; light, medium and full. Technically, the "body" of a wine is due to its alcohol content, however, it also includes the perception of alcohol in a wine, associating with the balance of a wine.

In Old World wines, while alcohol might be between 13 to 14.5%, some wines may be considered light-bodied in comparison to New World wines of similar style with around 14 to 15% alcohol by volume. The weight of a wine is determined by the alcohol's weight on one's palate, often depending on what alcohols are produced as a bi-product of fermentation, i.e. the ratio of glycerol vs. ethanol.

Light-bodied wines are overall perceived and described as bright and acidic, fresh, citrusy and having fresh, fruit notes, etc.

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