Wine Words Demystified: Hot

You know the deal, the more some folks learn about a topic, the more shortcuts/slang/acronyms/initials/technical jargon can be tossed around.  I’m here to help you understand those sometimes mysterious words and phrases, thus – Wine Words Demystified!

This week’s phrase is Hot

According to Karen MacNeil‘s The Wine Bible:

 Refers to a wine with a level of ALCOHOL that is out of BALANCE with its ACID and FRUIT. The impression of excessive alcohol produces a slight burning “hit” at the top of the nasal passages and on the palate.  

Image courtesy of
This wine descriptor is used when you stick your nose into a wine of glass to sniff aromas, take a deep sniff, and you feel a warm sensation in your nostrils.  The term “hot” (or for a lesser degree “warm”) is also used when you can taste, and feel the alcohol of a wine overwhelm the fruit and acidity.  It’s an undesirable trait, but sometimes, once a wine has had some time to breathe (see below) the “heat” may seem less pronounced.  On the “good, better, best scale”,  you’ll find “better”, and “best” wines manifest “heat” significantly less than “good” wines.


  1. Eric Spencer says:

    We @ Culinary Couture FARMS extend Greetings and a Salute to your wine blog!


    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thank You!

Comments are closed.