kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

An experiment in body

Body can be described as the "weight" of the wine. The fuller the body, the more the wine coats your mouth, and often the longer the taste lingers. A light-bodied wine can be compared to skim milk--thin, watery, and once you swallow it you can't really taste it anymore. A medium-bodied wine is like whole milk, and a full-bodied wine is like heavy cream--thick, rich, viscous; it coats your tongue, and you can taste it long after you swallow it. Alcohol is the major ingredient in the make up of a wine's body.

Last week, I tried Ariel Vineyards de-alcoholized wine for the first time in a few years (mainly because I happened to walk by it on the shelf at Trader Joe's, and I wanted to see what I thought of it since the last time I tried it several years ago.) This winery, a division of J. Lohr, is considered one of the finest producers of de-alcoholized wines--they have actually won awards for this stuff. I picked up the Rouge, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah. The purchase price was $3.99.

This wine is quite a shock to your taste buds on the first sip. The fruit flavor is there, but it's missing...something. You feel a void on the middle of your tongue, and there is none of that "hot" feeling at the back of your throat. What it's missing, of course, is alcohol--and body. Without body and weight, wine feels empty and flat, even if the fruit and other components are there.

I guess, for what it is, it's not a bad beverage. But for me, it certainly didn't quench my thirst for a nice glass of wine. If anything, it made it stronger.