Another Wine Byte 5: Descriptive Terms

Here is the fifth in our weekly series of Another Wine Bytes; information about wine you can use to impress your friends (but not in an obnoxious way, of course!)

AWByte #5 – Length, Aftertaste & Finish

Wine PourEver notice how the flavor of some wines disappears almost immediately after you swallow, but others linger in your mouth?  Wine connoisseurs refer to this as the “length” of the wine, but I like to call it “Hang Time.”

Imagine the basketball player with the awesome vertical leap, dunking the ball into the basket. Some players will tip it in, landing quickly back on their feet.  But others will hang on the rim, savoring the score.  In a hoops game, sometimes hanging on the rim will draw a technical foul — but wines whose flavor lingers in the mouth after swallowing are called long — definitely a positive description.

The intensity and persistence of flavor reflects the quality of the wine.  The flavors and aromas continuing in the mouth after the wine is called its aftertaste. The quality and enjoyment of the wine’s aftertaste, combined with how long it lingers, is described as the wine’s finish. And the finish can sometimes give an indication of how the wine might age.  A poor wine often produces a rather boring end.

The next time you’re tasting wine, close your eyes and slowly count after you swallow. And hope for a long hang time.

And that’s this week’s “Another Wine Byte!”


~Amy Corron Power,
aka WineWonkette

Posted in Education, Posts

Amy Corron Power View posts by Amy Corron Power

A licensed attorney, Amy is a wine-lover, foodie, photographer, political junkie and award-winning author who writes about Wine, Food, Beer & Spirits. As Managing Editor & Tasting Director for Another Wine Blog, she travels all over the world's wine regions to share her experiences with her readers and legions of twitter, Instagram and Facebook friends and fans. Amy holds certifications through the International Sommelier Guild, and is also certified, with honors, as a California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). She is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas and regularly attends Houston Sommelier Association events. Amy is also a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books, and was most recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude.
Scroll to top