A. "Body" describes the texture or weight of a wine in the mouth. This comes from a combination of elements, including alcohol, extract, glycerol, and acid.
Full-bodied wines have a rich, complex, well-rounded flavor that lingers in the mouth. On the opposite end of the spectrum are subtle, more watery, light-bodied wines, while medium-bodied wines fall somewhere in between.Both white and red wines have full-bodied varieties. Dry white wines, particularly those aged either fully or partly in wood, tend to be more full-bodied. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are two examples of these. Full-bodied red wines include Cabernet and French Bordeaux.
A number of dessert wines such as Sauternes are considered full-bodied, partly because the residual sugar adds weight and texture.
When thinking about what kind of wine to pair with dinner, remember that stronger, more robust flavors (dishes with cream sauces, rich cheeses, or heavy meats, for example) tend to be paired best with equally full-bodied wines.
Originally Published: Nov 21, 2007