What do we mean by body when it comes to wine?

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

What do we mean by body?

Most people when drinking, don’t really consider the way the liquid feels in their mouth as a factor.

When we talk about the body of a wine we mean the weight of the wine, this can also be described as the viscosity.

It sounds weird but think about milk

Skimmed milk is very light-bodied and watery, semi-skimmed less so and full-fat milk much richer and fuller-bodied, cream would take that analogy to an extreme and yoghurt would just cause problems so best not to mention it (oops).


If you are anything like me and don’t have any idea what different types of milk feel like in your mouth, then fruit juice can also work to give you an idea.

Apple juice is thin if you compare it to mango juice, pineapple juice sits in between - smoothies will be the step too far in this case.

Wine does not go to these extremes but there are light-bodied wines and full-bodied wines – from both reds and whites.

Disclaimer - I'm not really dairy-free, I would inhale cheese if that was an option. You may notice this when I start posting about wine and cheese matching. I just can't stand milk or cream.

Body of a wine

The body of a wine is affected by multiple things

Acidity – the higher the acidity the lighter the body of the wine. Acidity lifts the wine and makes you salivate which makes the wine feel lighter.

Tannins – the higher the tannins, the fuller the body of the wine. Tannins are polyphenols that add a textural component to the wine and cause a dry