10 Words Aspiring Wine Connoisseurs Need to Know

Who doesn’t love a good wine night? Before you and your friends get together for the next one, check out this list of 10 words that only true wine connoisseurs know how to work into conversations.


A buttery wine tends to be rich, creamy, and with little acidity. This can be used to describe both texture and taste. Most Chardonnays can be described as buttery.


Dense wine is heavy in aromas and tastes, often with a lengthy list of flavors. This is a good word to use when describing most red wines.


Earthy wines carry aromas and tastes that resemble soil, leather, minerals, or even mushrooms. This can be used as both a positive and a negative description. Earthy wines taste pleasant and clean, or they taste and smell dirty. Earthy wines are frequently red.


Elegant wines taste better as they age. They are often lighter, leaner, and more tart than other wines. Most Pinot Noirs would be considered elegant wines.


Flabby wines are the types of wine you want to stay away from. This is a negative word used to describe wines that have high alcohol content, low fruity aspects, and often a deep brown coloring.


Foxy describes a type of wine with a very specific grape flavor and aroma. Foxy wines are often made from Concord grapes and smell similar to Welch’s grape juice or grape jelly.


Use luscious to describe a wine’s texture, more so than taste or aroma. Luscious wines are smooth, rich, and have a juicy yet sweet texture. Luscious wines are known for not leaving a dry aftertaste.


Peppery wines are just that, wines that have a peppery taste and aroma. Peppery describes mostly red wines. The aroma can be that of black pepper or peppercorn, and leave a sharp taste in your mouth.



A vigorous wine has a strong, assertive, and even fruity taste and aroma. Vigorous is the exact opposite of flabby. The flavors in these wines are very forward and strong.


Woody describes a flaw in wine. When a wine is woody, it often has strong and even overwhelming aromas of vanilla, coffee, or some even say smoke. You will find that woody wines leave your mouth dry. This is most common in both Spanish and Australian wines.