Definition - What does Fleshy mean?

Fleshy is a wine tasting term that refers to the way a wine feels in the mouth. It is a textural sensation of being chewy, meaty or beefy. When a wine is fleshy, it is heavy on the tongue and fills the mouth with flavor. The wine feels thick, but not syrupy, as if it has a lot of substance. Other words that are often used in conjunction with fleshy are:

  • Meaty
  • Chewy
  • Fat
  • Mouth-filling
  • Full bodied
  • Big
  • Ripe
  • Sturdy
  • Firm.

WineFrog explains Fleshy

Fleshy wines often have high levels of glycerin (sugar alcohol), fruit and extract. They tend to be smoother and fatter than meaty wines, which means that it may feel slightly oily, like raw meat, versus chewy like a medium- to well-done steak. Many people will actually make chewing motions with their mouths when they drink very fleshy wines. This is because the wine is thick and bold in texture and flavor.

A wine’s glycerin, fruit and extract levels are what gives it the fleshy mouthfeel. As such, a fleshy wine is a good thing; it indicates that the wine has good body, concentration, texture, fruit and structure. The opposite of fleshy is angular.

Common fleshy wines are Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Hermitage.

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