Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

texture, the dimension of tasting that draws together attributes such as smoothness and astringency that produce tactile rather than flavour sensations on the surface of the mouth. These sensations are often referred to collectively as mouthfeel, especially in relation to red wines. In practice, the sensory perception of texture, experienced through the sense of touch and arising from the trigeminal nerve, is closely intertwined with the senses of taste and smell. astringency, body, viscosity, bitterness, and acidity are among the interrelated factors influencing texture. Because of the complexity of the interactions among the many wine constituents that may be involved, formal sensory studies relating wine composition to texture are limited. Nevertheless, a start has been made on this daunting task and evidence to date indicates that wine tannins, pigmented tannins, and ethanol are all involved with this sensation. Research in 2004 showed that wine polysaccharides also probably play an important role in the textural properties of wine. Current work at davis, adelaide, and inra montpellier is aimed at discriminating among the ways astringency manifests itself, and relating these to the texture and tannin composition of the wine. tasting notes sometimes try to describe the texture of a wine by comparing it to a type of material such as silk or velvet, or by likening it to the texture of a foodstuff, e.g. grainy or chewy. A mouthfeel wheel was developed in Adelaide in Australia in answer to Davis’s aroma wheel (illustrated under mouthfeel). Its purpose is to establish a vocabulary for describing the sensations of texture in red wines.