Body is a description of how the wine feels in your mouth.
Normally, we talk about 3 categories:
One way to think about the differences, is to think about:
Body is a name for the weight of a wine. All fluids have a weight determined by the content.
The body is determined by 3 factors: Alcohol, Sugar, and Extracts
Alcohol is a contributor to the body because it gives the wine viscosity. (Water is less viscous than syrup. Water is lighter and moves more easily than syrup).
Sugar is also a factor that adds to the body. The more sugar, the more body.
Extracts are other factors. Extract are solids like tannins, glycerol, fat, and acid.
Red wines are more full bodied than white wines.
Dry white wines have a light or very light body (like lemonade).
Full bodied white wines are known as creamy nutty, or oily.
Off-Dry whites are also defined as full bodied whites.
Oked red wines are more full bodied than unoaked reds.
Different winemaking techniques, such as leaving the wine longer with its skin also add body to a wine.
Most full bodied whites are oked or malolactic or both.
Light bodied wines have low levels of alcohol, sugar, tannins, and extracts. They feel light in the mouth like water or skimmed milk.
|Pinot Noir (France)|
Medium bodied wines have medium levels of alcohol, tannins, sugar and extracts. They feel medium light in the mouth like whole milk.
|Pinot Noir (NW)|
|Côtes du Rhône|
|Ribera del Duero|
Full bodied wines have high levels of alcohol, tannins, sugar and extracts. They feel heavy in the mouth like whole milk.