shaliza somani wine tasting terms fruit blog header

Every drop of wine that hits your tastebuds is just as delectable as the last drop. You know what flavor profiles you prefer, but what do you say to someone who asks you to describe what makes you love a certain wine?

Saying you have an affinity towards bold, dry wine is a good start, but it’s not very descriptive or telling of what the wine’s actual flavor profile is. For some wine drinkers, “red,” “white,” “dry,” and “sweet” are the only terms they feel comfortable using. Anything beyond that can seem intimidating because they either have no knowledge of more advanced descriptive words or simply don’t understand how to use them appropriately.

You don’t have to be an expert wine taster to procure a list of more advanced terms for your vocabulary. When you understand the four basic categories that expert wine tasters look for in wine, you can begin to build up a more significant list of terms you can use the next time you have a conversation about wine.

Over the next few months, I will be breaking down each category in greater detail, supplying readers with a list of terms that are appropriate to use in conjunction with each category.

The Fruit Level

Many amateur wine drinkers confuse sweet wine as fruity wine, but fruity notes can be detected across all types of wine. There are two different categories that fruity wine can be placed into: fruit forward or savory.

Fruit Forward

This category includes wine that falls into the sweet fruit realm. In this instance, the wine itself isn’t necessarily sweet, but it gives off a sweet aroma.

Red Wine Terms: sweet raspberry, blueberry, toffee, sweet tobacco, blackberry
White Wine Terms: mandarin orange, sweet pineapple, caramel, vanilla, ripe peach


This category includes wine in the not sweet fruit realm. They contain fruity flavors, but they are dominantly bitter or tart.

Red Wine Terms: cranberry, black currant, sour cherry, dried herbs, tar
White Wine Terms: lime, lemon, grapefruit, thyme, green apple

My next blog will focus on the second category known to expert wine tasters: the sweet level. Check back to learn more about this category and terms that apply to the sweet varieties of wine!