What is Full-Bodied Wine?

By: the Editors of Easy Home Cooking Magazine  | 

Full-bodied wines have a rich, complex, well-rounded flavor. See more wine pictures.
Volker Schumann

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.

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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

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Full-bodied Wine FAQ

What does full-bodied wine mean?
Full-bodied wines have a rich, complex, well-rounded flavor that lingers in the mouth.
What are the five types of wine?
Five basic types of wine include white wine, red wine, sparkling wine, rose wine and dessert wine.
What is light-bodied wine?
Light-bodied wine is subtle and more watery.
What is a medium-bodied wine?
Medium-bodied wines fall in between light- and full-bodied wine.
Is chardonnay full-bodied?
Yes, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc are two examples of dry wines that tend to be more full-bodied.