Crunchy, juicy, savoury, rich and racy.
What do you mean? We are talking about wine texture. Texture is body, it is weight and it is power. It is a combination of the way alcohol, tannin and sugar interact with the saliva in your mouth.
Texture is such an important factor when we talk about wine. Without it, we'd be drinking flavoured, acidic water.
At Vera, we have categorised all of our wines not just by grape variety and region, white or red, but also categorised by style. Our whites are grouped into 4 categories (though there could be many, many more) as follows:
Light and Racy, Floral and Fruity, Textural and Aromatic, Rich and Ripe
and for reds:
Bright and Crunchy, Juicy and Fruity, Savoury and Spicy, Big and Bold
This is by no means a perfect summary of all wines, but the way we found we could group similar styles together. Our most asked question by a country mile is:
"What do you mean by Crunchy?". Well, have you ever bitten into a crunchy red apple? That is the common textural link that all the wines in the Bright and Crunchy section share. They are light to medium in body with high acidity and low tannin. Think cool climate Pinot Noir and carbonic-macerated Gamay.
A decade ago, the word 'smooth' was used so often and became synonymous with over-cropped Aussie Merlot. Merlot has drifted from fashion (the crappy stuff - Bordeaux never goes out of style) but the terminology remains. We direct customers after 'smooth' to the Juicy and Fruity section. Have some Barbera or Grenache.
Why is it so important? Try drinking de-alcoholised wine - you will instantly understand why texture is so key in wine. Stripping texture and viscosity out of a glass of wine will make it thin and insipid. The more texture, the more body, the richer and voluptuous the wine feels in your mouth. This can be enhanced through winemaking influences like malolactic conversion, lees-stirring and barrel ageing.
Let us know in the comments what you like to drink!