Definition - What does Mouthfeel mean?

In the context of wine tasting terms, mouthfeel describes the tactile experience of the perception of the weight or texture of a wine. Mouthfeel is also the interaction of the wine on the palate and the sensations of flavor that are experienced in addition to the weight or texture of the wine. The weight or texture of a wine is often referred to as the body and can be characterized as light, medium, or heavy-bodied.

WineFrog explains Mouthfeel

Understanding what is happening when you experience different mouthfeels of wines, can help you determine different characteristics of the wine. Mouthfeel is the way the wine feels in your mouth and interacts with your palate when you drink or taste wine and can simply be defined as differing levels of body; from light to full.

Often the weight or texture of the wine can also be described as crisp, lively, rough, silky, smooth or even creamy; these tactile perceptions come from specific characteristics in wine. For instance, a sparkling wine, like a Champagne, may be described as lively due to its effervescence. The mouthfeel of a wine is directly related to other characteristics of the wine, including; sweetness, tannin levels and balance. Sweet wines tend to have a thick or full feeling in the mouth combined with a reaction of sweetness from the taste buds. While tannins provide structure and can be described as rough or silky and are typically experienced as astringent.

When a wine is balanced it will have a smoother, more rounded mouthfeel due to the sugar and acid being equal as well as equal flavors of sweet and sour. Unbalanced wines tend to have a mouthfeel that feels thin, watery or even sharp die to high acid content or may be flat or flabby if they don’t have enough acid.

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