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Red Wine - Classing it as Light/Medium/Full is Not Good Enough

Vivino.com uses this, with a sliding scale between either extreme.

What does this wine taste like?

|Light| |Bold|

|Smooth| |Tannic|

|Dry| |Sweet|

|Soft| |Acidic|

Is this better - could the Wine Society use it or similar?


@Bottles - Love this suggestion! I guess some is in the tasting note but would love to see more of this alongside the other fields on a quantified spectrum, which gives much better objective criteria :slight_smile:


Though as a quick devil’s advocate question, what if the wine has tannins but they’re very supple and could be described as smooth?

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I’d go further than just the reds. The white wines could go more than just dryness as a scale too.


Years ago TWS used to grade red wines A-E (light to full).
It would be interesting to know if people think the Vivino grades are accurate. Even TWS white wine dry/sweet gradings cause disagreement, especially for varieties such as pinot gris and gewurztraminer.
Should be an interesting thread!

We all have different taste buds so I suspect nothing could be 100% accurate, however, I really feel that something needs to be done, and yes, with white wines also.

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I accept that there is always more than an element of subjectivity in assessing wine. On the hypothesis that wine is generally about 85% water, but subject to alcohol %, acids, glycerol et al. There can be a reasonable shot at some level or scope of objectivity.

WSET has what it calls the Systematic Approach to Tasting, which sets out spectrums of aromas, fruit levels, alcohol, acidity body and for reds tannins. The scopes are low, medium or high.
Levels of alcohol and glycerol will always affect the body of the wine. So high alcohol wines are more likely to be “full bodied” provided there is the balancing level of fruit.
For reds tannins are low, medium or high and descriptors are chewy, fine, ripe, etc.

The vivino scale seems rather bizarre with no real logic. You can have high tannins which can be smooth and ripe (but also astringent and unripe!) I am not sure what a “bold bodied” wine is but I can understand what is a “full bodied” wine is. You can have a wine that is quite high in acidity but the fruit can be soft and round (aided by the alcohol level).