Useful wine terms to help you better assess a bottle

Even if you are an avid wine drinker, and feel like you’ve grasped an understanding of the plethora of terms used in describing wine, there seemingly are yet more and more popping out of the woodwork.

A number of these words are of great use, but lots can be absolute fluff, and sometimes even be employed in an effort to make those trying to solidify their wine knowledge to feel silly for not knowing it. We detest the latter…often you can spot these words (and employers of such words) from a mile off, as they sound totally absurd.

So, we have put together a quick guide of wine words and terms we use to describe wine (a wine bible – maybe a ‘wible’…?), and why we think they’re important when we pick our wines.


This is an absolute minimum requirement for any of our wines in our online wine shop. Balance in wine refers to all the components you can taste that make up the wine – acidity, alcohol, flavour and a few others. If the wine tastes really acidic, and that jumps out in an unpleasant manner, then the wine is unbalanced. A good starting for a wine is to have balance, so you can appreciate each facet of the wine, rather than have your taste and judgment unduly concentrate on one single thing.


‘Integrated’ leads on from balance. Again, if a wine does have high acidity, for example, but this isn’t too stark in the taste profile of the wine, then you would say it is integrated.


Precision might sound like it is verging on the absurd side, but it is key. A wine can be precise in the way that it perfectly reflects the place it originates from, which we likely all expect when we buy a wine from a certain region! Precision can also relate to you being able to identify certain elements of the wine in isolation, without it being unbalanced at the same time.



Whilst we might want to avoid intense situations in our lives, intensity in wine is something we should search out! Just in the same way that if your food doesn’t taste of much, a wine that doesn’t taste of much isn’t much fun. It lacks intensity. If a wine has a good intensity, meaning you can prominently smell or taste certain elements, then it is a sign it has been made well, and then we’re in the money.



This term revolves around the finish of the wine. How long can you still taste those lovely notes for after your sip? Long length is again a sign of a well-crafted wine, and is another quality we seek out.



Due to the number of influences a winemaker can have, and therefore the wide array of tastes this can either bring out or impart on the wine, we will always try to establish how many different things we can taste in the wine. The more things and stuff, the more complex the wine is (‘layers’ might crop up here too). But just because a wine is complex, it still needs to be balanced (back to our old friend) otherwise we might taste a mish-mash of elements that aren’t aligned!


We hope that helps! Next time you open a bottle, bear these terms in mind, and employ them when you then look for further wines.


Plonk Wine offers sensational small-batch wines that exceed every client's expectations. If you need to replenish your wine collection, check out our selection today. The great news is that we offer wine delivery within the UK and Europe!

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