Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

body, tasting term for the perceived ‘weight’—the sensation of fullness, resulting from density or viscosity—of a wine on the palate. Wines at either end of the scale are described as full bodied and light bodied.

Next to water, alcohol is the major constituent of wines. It has a much higher viscosity than water and is the major component responsible for the sensation of fullness, or body, as a wine is rinsed around the mouth. alcoholic strength is therefore clearly an important factor: the more potent a wine the more full bodied it is usually said to be.