Definition - What does Medium-Bodied mean?

In the analysis of a wine, medium-bodied is a term used to describe a wine which lacks the concentration of full-bodied wines. The four aspects which make up a wine's body are; alcohol, sugar, tannin and acid.

A medium bodied wine is one with lower alcohol levels, those with softer acids, little to no sugar content and little to no tannin.

WineFrog explains Medium-Bodied

A medium-bodied wine is one by which, comparable to other wines from a similar region and similar varietal characteristics, is slightly lighter in its body compared to higher-concentrated wines.

A wine which is medium-bodied is often lighter on one's palate pertaining to sugar levels which can add weight to a wine and/or tannin which can add a greater texture to a wine. Alcohol also adds body and texture to a wine. Thus, a wine of 15% alcohol will be much heavier than a wine of 13% and depending on other characteristics, the latter may be considered medium-bodied.

Examples of wines which are medium-bodied are:

  • Riesling
  • Pinot blanc
  • Pinot Grigio/Gris
  • Some Chardonnay and Viognier
  • Pinot Noir
  • Merlot
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