Red Wine Symbols

Fullness (body) and Astringency

On this web site the various symbols used to describe the wine are placed on a coloured background. For red wine three shades of red are used to describe the fullness (body) of a wine.


Soft tannins


Medium tannins


High in tannins

Light red background means that the wine is light-bodied, medium red means a medium-bodied wine and darker red a full-bodied wine.  There is no special symbol for astringency as this property follows the body, so a light-bodied wine contains little tannins while a full-bodied wine usually is rich in tannins. The background thus describes both the body and the astringency. The acidity of a red wine does not vary much and although it is a very important component, it has no symbol.

Taste symbols of red wine

To describe the taste and smell of red wines they have been grouped into four flavour types.

Light and juicy

Symbol is a raspberry for the light and juicy wine type.

These wines are often light-bodied, soft and fresh. Typically they have a taste of berries like raspberries, strawberries, red currants and blueberries. You will find wines like Bardolino and Beaujolais in this group.

Rich and spicy

Symbol for rich and spicy wines are raisins.

Most of these wines are medium-bodied but you can also find light-bodied and full-bodied wines in this group. Light wines made of pinot noir as well as full-bodied Amarone wines belong to this group.

Oak aging is very common and flavours of dried fruits, vanilla, pepper, spices and herbs are typical. You will find wines from Bourgogne, Rhône and Rioja in this group.

Fruity and alcohol-sweet

Symbol for fruity and alcohol-sweet wines is jam.

Usually wines in this group are medium-bodied but also light-bodied and full-bodied wines may be found in this group. They are all very fruity and have flavours of dark berries, plums, cherries, vanilla and mint. You will find wines from the New World e g South Africa, Australia and Chile in this group.

Stringent and complex

Symbol for stringent and complex wines is dark chocolate.

These wines are full-bodied, rich in tannins, often complex and full of flavours. Typical flavours are dark berries, dark chocolate, cedar, tobacco and coffee. You will find wines from classic districts like Bordeaux and Tuscany in this group. Due to the high content of tannins these wines are suitable for storage. The storage softens the tannins. The wine may benefit if you air the wine by decanting it to a carafe before drinking.

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