If you've begun to develop an interest in wine, there may be certain industry terms you're unfamiliar with. For example, you might be wondering what differentiates a light-bodied blend from a full-bodied one. Here is a guide to understanding what distinguishes one from the other and developing a new appreciation for different types of white and red wines.

What Determines Wine Body?

The key factor that distinguishes one type of wine from another is its alcohol content. The climate in which the beverage's grapes are grown and the quality of those fruits also play a role in its "body." This refers to its texture and the drink's boldness, or lack thereof. Features like consistency and taste come into play when describing the wine's body and are integral in lending the alcohol its unique character.

What Is Light-Bodied Wine?

red wine

Light-bodied wines are airy and delicate. They may feel more like water in your mouth rather than thick and robust. These types of drinks contain no more than 11.5% alcohol by volume.

A light-bodied red wine can take on a sharper and spicier note. In contrast, a delicate white one has a smooth taste with minimal acidity. These thin beverages pair best with light meals, like fresh vegetables, raw fish, and low-fat foods that don't sit heavily in the stomach. 

What Is Full-Bodied Wine?

Full-bodied wines are rich and bold, with a strong aroma and a blend of flavors. They are aged in oak barrels, lending them their signature vanilla or spice undertone. These types of drinks are primarily found with red wines, such as Malbec and Merlot. However, there are a few white wines classified as full-bodied, like Chardonnay and Muscat.

Most of these blends contain at least 13.5% alcohol by volume. Because of their high alcohol content, they are best enjoyed over a meal. They are great partners for creamy, rich foods that contain heavy proteins, sauces, and animal fat, such as steak. 


If you're ready to learn more about different white and red wines, visit Oeno Winemaking in Kailua, HI. Proudly serving enthusiasts since 2008, they offer wonderful wine tasting experiences and carry a range of more than 150 wines in various blends. These manufacturers are essential and open for regular business hours during the COVID-19 pandemic and are proud to offer both curbside pickup and nationwide delivery. Visit the website to browse their selection of wine, or call (808) 263-6366 to speak with a representative about placing an order.