Alright, let’s stop sniffing our wine for a second and talk about Mouthfeel. This term is perhaps the oddest term I have heard when talking about wine. Mouth Feel! The first time I read it, I laughed, took a picture of a label and sent it to Scot asking him to explain, then laughed some more. But it is actually a serious term and used widely in wine tasting.
Understanding what it means when tasting wine is quite simple. It is the term used to describe the textural attributes, such as smooth, that produce tactile sensations in the mouth. It is totally separate from the flavour or taste but it does contribute greatly to the overall sensation of the wine. After smell and taste, the feel of the wine has the largest impact of how you perceive a wine! Going a little deeper, Texture and Astringency are also terms used to describe the physical characteristics of a wine and while slightly different technically, all describe similar traits.
The mouthfeel allows you to dissect and describe; the acidity of the wine, from soapy to sour and feel the weight on your palate, from watery to full. Mouthfeel can also describe the feel of the fizz in your bubbles, and to discern how small or large they are. It can also, in really expressive wines, reveal the terroir of the wine. Certain soils such as chalk and schist give off unmistakable textures in the wine, which you can feel in your mouth as you drink.
Typical descriptors of mouthfeel are words such as velvety, warm, tingling, thin, rough and many more. We went on a search for a simple and clear overview of all things mouthfeel and came up pretty empty handed excluding a few overly complicated charts – so we decided to prepare our own Mouth Feel Wheel!
Click the image below for the full wheel & happy tasting!