Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine

Late Harvest

Grapes that are picked as late as possible in the season for maximum sugar content. Usually associated with sweet or dessert-style wines.

Lagare

The traditional container for Douro wine, this large, low granite vat has a capacity of 110 hectolitres.

Long

Long (or length) relates to a wine’s finish, meaning that after you swallow it, you can still sense it for a long time. (Thirty seconds to several...

Litre

Standard unit of measure in the metric system: 1 Litre = 1.054 US Quarts OR 1 US Gallon = 3.785 Litres

Lambrusco

This dry to sweet wine is produced from Lambrusco grapes in regions of northern Italy. It has a fizzy mouthfeel and is usually only produced...

Legs

There are two meanings for the term legs. First, it is the name of the liquid rivulets that form on the inside of a wineglass after the wine...

Louche

A wine with the presence of suspended particles that causes it to be cloudy.

Loire

A river in central France as well as a wine region famous for Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc.

Lingering

Used to describe the persistence of flavour in a wine after tasting. When the after-taste remains on the palate for several seconds, it is said...

Limousin

A type of French oak cask from the forest of Limoges, France. Limousin is known for its looser, more open grain wood.

Lightstruck

A condition that occurs in wines (especially delicate wines) when they are exposed to ultra-violet light rays for too long. It is a flaw that...

Library Wine

Small quantities of older wine vintages usually sold from the winery itself, but not exclusively.

Left Bank

This is a term usually used in the context of Bordeaux. Left Bank Bordeaux wines refer to wines coming from the Medoc wine region of France with...

Lush

The impression a wine gives when it has high amounts of residual sugar. This is an adjective almost entirely reserved for sweet dessert wines.

Lively

A lively wine has a hint of effervescence aka: bubbly-ness or spritzy-ness. The term usually applies to white wines, but some reds also qualify.

Light

A descriptive tasting term usually used to describe a wine that lacks tannins. It is an especially common description for white wines which usually...

Lemony

Tasting description for a somewhat acidic white wine. These wines contain flavours reminiscent of lemons. The wine can still be well-balanced...

Lees

Derived from French term “lies” as in “sur lies,” it refers to the residual yeast and other particles that are carried to the bottom of the vessel...

Lean

A tasting term used to describe the wine’s mouthfeel. It is used for a wine high in alcohol that lacks generosity and fatness but can still be...

Leafy

Similar to the description vegetal, it is a desirable trait in minute detectable amounts. It can add a note of complexity to the wine.

Length

This refers to how long the flavour lasts in the back of the throat after swallowing. Counted in time, usually seconds, ten seconds is good,...

Languedoc

A wine region in Southern France.

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