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Dear Dr. Vinny,
Are most full-bodied wines "good" wines?
—Sam, Los Angeles
Not necessarily. I’ve had plenty of full-bodied wines that were mediocre, off balance or worse, and I love plenty of wines that are light- or medium-bodied. But you might really like a full-bodied wine, and there's nothing wrong with that.
What exactly does “full-bodied” mean? A wine’s body refers to its weight, or how it feels in your mouth. It’s not a compliment, just a description. One helpful comparison that helps some people understand the term "body" is with milk: Skim milk is light-bodied compared to medium-bodied whole milk or full-bodied cream. So in a rich, dense red wine, a full body makes sense, but I don’t think I’d like that much body in a crisp white or a sparkling wine, and those are some of my favorite things to drink.
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