Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I often come across the word “grip” in describing wine. What does it mean?
—H.F. Chew, Malaysia
It depends on the context, but “grip” is usually a positive note, referring to the pull on the sides of your mouth you get, particularly when drinking a red wine. It’s a way to describe a wine’s structure, and when I hear “grip,” I usually assume one is talking about tannins, though sometimes a white wine with high acidity can give a gripping sensation.
Grip is good, a welcome firmness. It gives definition and texture to wine, similar to descriptions like traction or backbone. It helps wines avoid seeming flabby, though with too much grip a wine might veer towards drying.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered