Rich: Wines with generous, full, pleasant flavors, usually sweet and round in nature. In dry wines, richness may be from a high alcohol and glycerin content, complex flavors and an oaky vanilla character. Sweet wines are called rich when the sweetness is backed by fruity, ripe flavors.
Robust: Full-bodied, intense and vigorous; can mean a bit overblown.
Round: A quality of wines that have good "balance" and "structure", and are not perceived as harsh, angular, or flat.
Silky: A descriptor of wines that have a smooth, elegant texture (mouthfeel).
Smoky: A descriptor for wines that have aromas and flavors of smoked wood and earth.
Soft: It is said of a wine that has little or no acidity and tannin (potentially a problem for balance).
Spicy: A description of a wine that is matured for a long time in barrels then in bottles, and has an aroma and taste of spices like cloves, mint, cinnamon or pepper.
Spumante: An Italian word to describe a sparkling wine.
Stale: Descriptor for wines that have lost their fresh, youthful qualities; opposite of fresh.
Structure: The architecture of a wine, both chemically and organoleptically, is a combination of its main component and its most distinctive flavors.
Supple: A synonym of "smooth", but referring to more "round" than "silky" wines.
Sweet: Sweetness is the dominant sensation in tasting the wine. There is a high residual sugar content because the grape sugar is not completely converted to alcohol.
Tannin: An acid present in the stems, pips, and skins of grapes that becomes a very important component of red (and some white) wines. It is also found in the wood barrels used for maturation, where it can alter the balance of a wine.
Tart: A descriptor for wines with high acid content and unripe fruit flavors. Not a compliment.
Thin: It is said of wines that lack substance and structure.
Vegetal: A broad descriptor for wines that have aromas and flavors that suggest vegetables, plants, or even herbs.
Vini da Tavola: Table wines, or a class of Italian wines that do not fit into the DOC, DOCG or IGT category. They do not specify grape variety, vintage or place of origin on their label.
Vintner: A wine merchant, wine producer or winery owner.
Viticulture: The cultivation, science and study of grapes.