What is a Full Bodied Wine?


The body of a wine refers to the fullness, weight and concentration and total mouth feel of a wine. It is generally related to the amount of alcohol it contains, the more alcohol, the fuller the body.

A light-bodied wine would be have less concentrated flavors, while a full-bodied wine would be notably more concentrated. Light-bodied wines would feel similar to water in your mouth and full-bodied wines would be more like milk as far as heaviness.

When you talk about a wine’s body, you are describing how thick or thin, how oily or watery it feels in your mouth. Your tongue and mouth can sense all sorts of textures. For example think of how a milkshake seems different than water. All of these are liquids, but all have different bodies.

When wine tasters say “light/thin body” they usually mean something very watery – like 1% or 2% milk. There’s a bit of substance there – you’re drinking wine, after all, not water – but it is very light. The next level is “medium body”. This is more like regular milk. There’s still a bit of substance there, but it’s not really thick, it’s just tangible. Finally, for thick wines like port or sauternes, there is the “full body”. This is more like cream, where there is really something swirling around in your mouth.

The best way to learn more about wine body is to TRY different wines! Get a light Riesling for the light wine, a buttery Chardonnay for the middle, and a nice port for the heavy. Try them all side by side and see how they differ!