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Wine Spectator School

Class 3: International Varieties

SIP: Taste, Body, Flavor

  • A wine's body is directly related to extract, including sugar, acid and tannin.

  • The more extracted and darker the wine, the more full-bodied you would expect it to be; similarly, the higher the alcohol content, the more full-bodied the wine will be.

  • Because both wines are dry, sugar won't be a factor in your assessment of body; instead, pay attention to how each wine's alcohol and tannins contribute to its body.


Pinot Noir

  1. Sip and swish your Pinot Noir, but don't swallow or spit.

  2. With the wine in your mouth, assess its weight and thickness.

  3. Swallow the sip and check the back of your throat for "heat" from alcohol.

  4. Note your observations on your Tasting Worksheet.


  1. Now, sip and swish your Merlot --...

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