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What Does Wine Taste Like? Answered (2023 Updated)

What Does Wine Taste Like

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Wine is one of the most well-loved drinks worldwide for its unique tasting notes, health benefits, and significance.  

But if you haven’t done any wine tasting before, you sure wonder – what does wine taste like? 

Let’s find out as this post reveals the tastes of wines and other flavors to expect. 

How Do You Describe The Taste Of Wine? 

pouring wine on a glass

The taste of wine is tangy, slightly sweet, acidic, and a bit bitter, depending on the type and brand.

Different types of wine carry varying flavors, but their common denominator is the combo of sweetness and tanginess. 

4 Types of Wine & Their Distinct Flavors

Red Wine

2 Glasses of Red Wine on a Table

Red wine tastes sweet with dark fruit flavors. There are red wine varieties that taste drier and more bitter than others. 

A bottle of good wine has the perfect taste of sweetness, bitterness, and sourness. But some reds have salty or spicy flavors, although rare. 

It’s a common misconception that red wine tastes like red grapes or grape juice, but it’s not.

Although there are grape sugar notes (since wine is from grapes), red wine may taste different. 

But if you’re looking for a red wine that tastes similar to grape skins or juice, try the following:

White Wine

White wines range from sweet to dry taste. They lack tannins [1], making them a bit bitter but crispier than red wine. But white wines are more acidic than red wines.  

There are fruit flavors: citrus, stone fruits, and floral notes. We’ve tried many white wines before, and we can say that the best-tasting white wine tends to be more acidic than others. 

If you’re looking for white wines or highly acidic wines with tropical fruits and citrus flavors, try the following: 

  • Chablis
  • Dry Riesling
  • Verdejo
  • Albarino
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc 

Sparkling Wine

Pouring Bottle of Sparkling Wine on a Glass

As the name suggests, sparkling wines are fizzy alcoholic drinks, as it has bubbles. Some wine lovers prefer this wine as it can be rose, white, or red wine. 

The flavors of sparkling wines range from lean to dry and sweet.

Also, most sparkling wines aren’t as alcoholic as white and red wine and fortified wines like Madeira, Port, and Sherry. 

Regarding the flavors, most sparkling wines are toasty, nutty, and citrusy, with notes of apple close to the taste of white wine.

We prefer this wine as a combo with light beef dishes. Check out our favorite non-alcoholic sparkling wines here

Rosé Wine

Rose wine tastes like a combination of red and white wines. Expect dry to sweet flavors. 

Wine and friends are a great blend.”

— Ernest Hemingway, American Novelist 

Making rose wine involves removing the grape skins, so the fermented grape juice has rich flavors and crimson color. 

It doesn’t have the bold flavors of red and white wine, and it doesn’t have too much tannin. 

This is a sweet wine and suitable as a dessert wine because, in its fermentation process, it involves the addition of sugar, reducing the spirit’s high acidity. You can also check out our favorite rose wines for beginners here

Also Read:

What Does Wine Taste Like For The First Time?

pouring Bottle of Wine on a Glass

Tasting wine the first time gives you fruity aromas and a tangy flavor. The sweetness is there, but it depends on the type of wine you’re drinking. 

If you’re having dessert wines, it’s sweeter, and dry wines are more acidic, like white wine.

Most wine connoisseurs prefer red wine over white as it’s less acidic and has more tannins, but it still depends on the drinker’s preference. 

Before deciding which drinking wine to opt for, we suggest a wine tasting first or attending tasting wine events in your locality. 

This way, you can familiarize yourself with the different wine flavors. 

How Should You Taste It? 

Taste wine by sipping it and let the liquid glide along your cheeks and other areas of your mouth. Then try chewing it.

If you get strong tannin flavors, that’s a chewy wine that tastes drier.

After the sip and slowly playing with the wine on your tongue, swallow it and feel it as it goes down your throat. 

You may notice a different flavor or feel in this phase. Depending on the wine, there are fruity flavors of white grapes, young wines, and so on. 

FAQs

Does wine taste sweet or dry?

The wine tastes sweet or dry, depending on its residual sugar [2]. Dry wine’s taste is not too sweet compared to sweet, chewy wines. 

Does wine taste like grape juice?

Red wine may taste like grape juice, depending on the type. But in most cases, the flavors of red wine range from dark fruit to sweet to slightly tangy, not necessarily taste the same as grape juices.  

What does wine taste like when it goes bad?

Wine (be it red or white) taste like vinegar or has a sharp sour flavor when it goes bad. This also applies to all wines but is most noticeable in red wines. 

Final Taste 

For those who have yet to experience wine, expect some tanginess, low to high acid levels, and a bit of sweetness to dryness. But the flavor depends on the type of wine you’re drinking.

Sparkling and rose are on the sweeter side, and reds and whites are on the acidic side. But as we’re always saying, taste is subjective.

You have tasted wine differently from others. So you better try it yourself to see how wines taste in your tastebuds. 

References:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2021/07/16/what-are-tannins-wine/ 
  2. https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/may/15/wine-s-residual-sugar-determines-sweetn/ 
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