What Does Full-Bodied Wine Mean?

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

What Does Full-Bodied Wine Mean?

The wine tasting energy is fused with an array of hard-to-understand terminology, with words like aroma, 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.”

What Is A Full-Bodied Wine?

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 acidity of the wine, the amount of sugar contained, and the overall alcohol content of the wine.

Whenever you are drinking a full-bodied wine, the taste will be more complex than other forms of wine. The flavor of full-bodied wine 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.

If you are not a fan of a lingering taste, then there are also light-bodied wines available. These have far less of a lingering effect and there is very little after-taste to these wines.

These also tend to be white wines, as fuller-bodied wines tend to be red. If you want to purchase a full-bodied red wine but do not know which wine to choose from, you should choose your bottle on the basis of the color.

The darker the wine’s coloration, the fuller bodied it will be. To a large degree, this boldness derives from the gape skin, and 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.

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


Syrah consists of dark-skinned grapes and the flavors can drastically vary from black pepper to hints of chocolate.


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. 

Full bodied wines are usually not consumed on their own. They 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.

As mentioned, you will often hear people use the phrase ‘full-bodied’ when describing wine.

While some people believe that this is strictly limited to describing red wines, white wines can also be described using this terminology.

This is because full-bodied is a wine tasting term that directly refers to the heaviness of the wine itself and the resulting thickness within the mouth. White wines can also be thicker, depending on the thickness of the grape’s skin.


To conclude, there are 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 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.

This is what provides full-bodied wine with its buttery texture and long-lasting flavor. The sugar levels within these wines also increase their overall viscosity.

Thus, if you are seeking a full-bodied wine to pair with your steak, or want to find the best wine to drink alongside your favorite pasta dish, you should definitely consider purchasing a bottle of wine that has been listed above.

These full-bodied wines are all red wines, which pairs well with most meats. However, there are also numerous full-bodied white wines that pair beautifully with fish like crab, lobster, and white sauce pizza!

Therefore, you are guaranteed to find a full-bodied wine to tantalize your palate after a hard working day.

If you want to indulge in all the sensations that wine has to offer, then you should definitely opt for a full-bodied wine as opposed to a light-bodied wine.


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