Can You Choose Your Body Type?

If you’re talking about wine, the answer is yes.

Pick up a copy of the National Enquirer (only to read in the grocery checkout line, of course) and you get your fill of “body” talk:  body image, body contouring, body shape, body issues.  It’s enough to drive a girl to drink.  Come to think of it, let’s turn that discussion of “body” to wine.

Much ado is made about a wine’s body.  It’s not a comment about the wine’s quality – rather a description of its style.  Body is the perception of fullness or texture in your mouth due primarily to the wine’s alcohol.  The more potent the wine, the more full-bodied it will be.  A full-bodied wine doesn’t actually weigh any more than a light-bodied one, but it feels heavier in your mouth.  At the other end of the spectrum, a wine that lacks sufficient body is described as watery or thin. (Don’t get us started on all the chatter about “thin.”)

You might have a personal preference about a wine’s body.  Do you gravitate to a light bodied Pinot Grigio that you can easily quaff at a summer picnic?  Or do you favor the seriousness of a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that you can savor over an entire evening? 

While a wine’s body is influenced by the grape it’s made from, the winemaker has ultimate control.  For example, she can take a Chardonnay grape that might produce a lighter-bodied wine and, by aging it in oak or increasing the alcohol content through fermentation, produce a fuller-bodied wine. 

Wine Bar

If you’d like to choose a wine according to its body style, we thought we’d share our list of less common varietals that you can take with you when you head to your favorite wine store.

My Body TypeTry These Wines
Light-BodiedWhite:  Albariño, Muscadet, Orvieto, Soave, Vinho Verde
Red:  Beaujolais, Dolcetto, Gamay, Grenache, Valpolicella
Medium-BodiedWhite:  Chenin Blanc, Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre, Verdejo
Red:  Barbera, Carménère, Malbec, Merlot, Sangiovese, Tempranillo
Full-Bodied White:  Marsanne, Roussanne, Semillon, Torrontés, Viognier
Red:  Amarone, Barolo, Mourvèdre, Nebbiolo, Petit Sirah

Barbara & Beverly