Log In / Join Now

Wine Spectator School

Class 2: Tasting Reds

SIP: Taste, Body, Flavor

Body is the sensation within the mouth of weight and thickness. The components in wine that contribute to body include alcohol, extract, sugar and tannin.




  1. Take a sip and feel its weight and thickness as you swish it around your mouth, but don't swallow or spit.
  2. Would you describe the wine's body as light? Medium? Full?
  3. Swallow your sip and pay attention to the sensations in the back of your throat. Do you feel any "heat" from alcohol?
  4. Note the Beaujolais' body on your Worksheet.

Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. Swirl the Cabernet. What do its legs indicate about body and alcohol level?
  2. Sip and swish the wine, feeling its weight and thickness as you do; don't swallow or spit.
  3. Is it light-bodied? Medium? Full-bodied?
  4. Swallow...

Ready to enroll?

First, you must register for a membership to WineSpectator.com. Your membership benefits include:
  • FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School
  • Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes
  • FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are
  • E-newsletters with advance ratings
  • Editors’ blogs
  • Food and wine matching tool
  • And much more
Log In If You're Already a WineSpectator.com Member

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.

Job Opportunities

Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator's New York office is looking for an assistant tasting coordinator.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences


The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 300,000+ ratings.