A wines ‘body’ refers to how heavy, rich, and complex a wine is. When you decipher your preference on body, it’s a great way to figure out what kind of wine you favor. It will help next time you're out and want to get a glass, or when you're wandering around the wine shop for too long and can't decide!
Contributors to a wines body:
Probably the biggest contributor to body. As a general rule, wines with an alcohol level over 14% tend to taste ‘full-bodied’.
Grape varieties with thicker skins tend to produce fuller-bodied wines. For example, Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned, low tannin grape, resulting in a light bodied wine. Then on the other hand, think Malbec. Thicker skinned, more tannins, warmer climate grown…big-bodied red.
Clues to gauge body:
Generally speaking, a wine that is more tannic is typically fuller-bodied.
Look at the wine, can you see through it? Viscosity references the color of the wine, the lighter, the less alcohol.
Generally speaking, grapes grown in warmer climates tend to produce fuller-bodied wines. Cooler climate grown grapes tend to produce a sharp or bright flavor, from the increased acidity.
If a wine is aged in oak, it tends to be fuller-bodied. Oak aging is typically noted on the back label!
Here is a couple helpful links to learn more about ‘Body’: