These terms and descriptions are to aid readers in understanding some wine terminology commonly used when discussing wine.
Body describes how heavy the wine feels in the mouth. Light bodied wines feel like skim or 1% milk. Medium bodied wines feel like 2% milk. Full bodied wines feel like whole milk up to heavy cream for wines that are very viscous. Body is a result of alcohol, wood influence, tannin, varietal characteristic, and wine making techniques. Red wines tend to have more body than whites because most experience some wood influence and all have longer contact with grape skins. There are of course several exceptions. Chardonnay can reach high alcohol levels, often undergoes malolactic fermentation creating a creamier mouth feel, and often is influenced by wood (even new oak barrels). The Gamay grape grown in Beaujolais that undergoes carbonic maceration will be thin and fruity with very little tannin and no wood influence. Wines from grapes grown in warmer climates tend to have more body because the grapes ripen to higher sugar levels and produce wines with more alcohol. New world wines tend to be grown in warmer climates and grape growing laws allow interventions that can result in riper grapes or richer wines. As red wines age, their tannins soften, resulting in less body.
Climate is the weather that is normally expected each year (the historical average weather.) Weather is the current forecast. Site climate refers to a single vineyard or sometimes part of a vineyard.
Tannin is one of the major wine components detected on the palate. Tannin causes the mouth to feel dry – especially along the inside of the lips and gum line, tongue and roof of the mouth. Tannins come from grape skins and wood treatment and are therefore most prominent in red wines, although some rose and whites have small amounts of tannin. Tannins are necessary for a wine to age. As the wine ages, tannins precipitate with other molecules. They become ‘softer” on the palate and allow the fruit flavors to be more prominent.