With wine being top of mind at the moment with all the lovely food and wine pairing dinners on offer by Fairway Hotel and Guvon Academy, we though it may be a good idea to share Bellingsham’s glossary of fancy wine words we all really should know!

We borrow the following from  Bellingham and hope to see you at the Rosè, Sparkling- and Dessert Wine on 5 April at Guvon House in Randpark Ridge,  or the  Bellingham food and wine pairing on 28 April at the Fairway Hotel:

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“For most us, trying to describe a wine goes as far as saying, “I like this Wine” but for some, there is a whole new vocabulary in which describing wine can become a profession
by itself.

Here at Bellingham we love to teach, engage and enrich peoples understanding of wine and thus we have created the top 11 words used to describe and understand our Wines.

Chewy:  When the tannins are so strong in the wine that it dries out your mouth causing you to “chew” in order to create Saliva. The Simpler saying is the wine is drying out my mouth but we not simple.

Balanced: When you take a sip of wine and everything works together from acidity, fruity flavours and level of oak. This is a desirable quality for our Wine Maker.  When a wine is said to be balanced, it is usually the wine you choose.

Closed: When a wine is closed it means that it is not showing its full potential.  Maybe it didn’t breathe for long enough or maybe the wine is still too young to drink.  You will usually make this statement when you taste a wine you know but for some reason it just doesn’t taste the way it should

Earthy: Describes the wine of which earthy, leafy, woody smells are abundant.  When drank it usually leaves a finish similar to those green vegetables your mother forced you to eat.  We always knew mom had a good reason for us to eat our Green vegetables and now you know!  Thanks Mom

Decadent: When wine is just awesome.  Rich and delicious.  Kind of like the Bellingham Bernard Series

Creamy: The word is used for white wines that are aged in oak barrels.  Similar to buttery taste.

Body: This is the body of a wine and not the body of the winemaker. A Tasting terms for the weight and texture of a wine on the palate.

Corked: A “Corked”wine suffers from specific fault where wine has become contaminated with cork taint. Cork taint is not simply the taste of a cork. Rather it is caused by the presence of a chemical compound called TCA

Finish: This is the amount of time the flavours of the wine remains on the palate.  The longer the wine lingers on your palate after you swallowed the better.  You can also use the tem “length”

Late Harvest: This terms is used when the winemakers decide to allow certain grapes remain in the vineyards passed their maturity. This process produces wines of high alcohol and an off-dry to sweet wine.

Nose: As a wine lover you are obsessed with the way the wine tastes and smells.  Nose is the smell of the wine.”



Fairway Hotel wine dinners – Tel 011 478 8000 |

Guvon Academy wine dinners – Tel 011 668 1600|


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