What Does Full-Bodied Wine Mean?

For those who are new to wine drinking, it is a truly fascinating experience.

The wine tasting energy is fused with an array of hard-to-understand terminology, with words like aroma, light body,, appellation, earthy, and astringent being thrown around readily.

However, there is one phrase that you are likely to hear more than others, “full-bodied.”

Light bodied wines

Light bodied red wines are a perfect choice for those looking for a refreshing and easy-drinking option. With their lower tannin levels and brighter acidity, these wines are often described as elegant and approachable.

Pinot Noir and Beaujolais wines

This family of light bodied red wine provides very fruity red wines with a slight acidity especially from cold climates. Main wine growing reagions are Alsace, Burdundy in France, Oregon in the USA as well as colder regions in Australia and New Zealand


The Grenache grape is known for its ability to produce light bodied wine that charm the senses with delicate complexity and vibrant flavors. Despite its lighter profile, Grenache wines pack a punch of character, offering a unique blend of red fruit notes like strawberry and raspberry intertwined with subtle hints of spice. This grape variety thrives in warm climates, lending the wine a sun-kissed quality that translates into an elegant and lively drinking experience.


Cinsault is a vibrant grape variety renowned for producing light-bodied wines that exude elegance and finesse. With its subtle tannins and refreshing acidity, Cinsault wines are perfect for those seeking a smooth and easy-drinking experience. This grape often plays a supporting role in blends, adding a touch of brightness and fruitiness to the final product.

What are full bodied red wines

The term full-bodied wine refers to the weight of texture of the wine within your mouth. The body of a glass of wine is dependent on numerous factors, including the natural acidity, of the wine, the amount of sugar contained, and the overall alcohol content of the wine.

Full bodied wines – Alcohol content

Whenever you are drinking a full-bodied, the taste will be more complex than other forms of wine. The flavor of full-bodied also tends to linger for a longer period of time in your mouth.

For instance, when you drink cola, the taste is usually gone within a matter of seconds. However, the taste of a full-bodied wine will linger in your mouth for far longer.

This lingering effect is similar to how the taste of milk will linger in your mouth for a longer period of time also, and this reflects the overall body of the liquid itself.

Impact of Tannins on wine body

The darker the wine’s coloration, the fuller bodied it will be. To a large degree, this boldness derives from the gape skin, and medium body of the wine will reflect the thickness of the grape’s skin accordingly.

Another contributing factor to the body of the wine is the amount of alcohol contained within the wine itself.

Whenever wine has a higher content of alcohol, it can become viscous, moving at a slower pace within the mouth.

Overall, winest that contain an alcohol content of 13.5% or over are considered to be medium-bodied, with those that contain less than 12.5% alcohol considered to be light-bodied. All wines will have their alcohol content stipulated on the label.

Full bodied red wines

Some of the most renowned full-bodied wines include the following:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most renowned red wines. It is a full-bodied type of wine that contains hints of pepper and black currants. 


Douro red wine is a portuguese red wine that is purple in color. Its tastes range from lighter flavors to more dark flavors. 


Malbec is an incredibly popular French wine that is renowned for its dark purple color and blackberry flavor that is slightly acidic.


Mourvedre has a high alcohol content, it combines earthy flavors with soft fruity notes.

Nero D`Avola

Nero D’avola is made in Sicily and contains hints of pepper along with sweeter tones. 

Petite Sirah

Petite Sirah is a dark colored wine that contains an array of rich fruity flavors derived from black berries. 

Shiraz and Syrah

Shiraz is a popular wine that contains pepper, tobacco, plump, and blackberry flavors. 


Tannat is a wine that is made in Southern France. It is high in tannins and is an incredibly fruit wine. It can also be blended using other forms of wine. 

Foodpairing of full bodied red wine

Full bodied wines are usually not consumed on their own. They are food wines are usually paired with different meats like steak, and alongside pasta plates.

This combination works perfectly due to the fat-rich content of these foods, as they soothe the acidic taste and enhance the wine’s rich, fruity flavors.


To conclude, there are a few examples numerous factors that determine whether a wine is full-bodied or not. The high alcohol content within some wine is usually an indicator that it is a full-bodied wine.

This is because alcohol creates a viscosity that makes a fuller wine. The tannins within certain wines also add enhanced structure, adding a layer of thickness in the mouth. Tannins derive from the skin of the grape along with the seeds of thicker grapes.

The fermentation process can also determine whether a wine is a more full bodied wines full-bodied or not. Malolactic fermentation will enhance the texture of the wine, adding a creamier sensation to it.

If a wine has been aged using oak, this also adds aromatic compounds to the wine, otherwise known as vanillin.

Hi, my name is Christina Day, and I am a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur. It is my favorite alcoholic drink, and I enjoy nothing better than kicking back on the sofa after a long week of work to enjoy a glass of wine… or two!

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