What does "structure" mean to you?

What does “structure” mean to you?

  • Acid
  • Tannin
  • Acid and/or Tannin
  • Something Else (please explain)

0 voters

When you read or write the word “structure” what is it referencing?

Acid, Tannin, mouthfeel caused by extraction and or effervescence…TEXTURAL things that are not flavors.

Combination of tannin that forms the “framework” of the structure and acid that braces it up…if that makes any sense.

Acidity combined with the core concentration of fruit which makes the wine even. I don’t always associate tannin with structure. White wines can be very structured to me in the absence of tannin.

Structure is the skeleton of a wine, consisting of all kinds of tannins (from grapes, stems, barrels …) and all kinds of acids …

+1. But there’s something more to it that’s hard to quantify, a sort of flavor arc and textural quality. Tannins and acidity are the primary components, yet I’ve also encountered wines with plenty of acidity and tannins that don’t have structure. It’s a sense of integration, a sort of architectural harmony beyond the components of the wine.

The best example I can think of along these lines is a new world Pinot that isn’t particularly tannic or acidic, but has a subtle framework to it that makes it more compelling than your basic drink now sort of red wine.

I tend to think of structure being something that provides rigidity to a wine. Tannin can do this when young, but in maturity the tannin breaks down and provides a silky-smooth mouthfeel to the wine, and ceases to become structural in my view. Sometimes you get weird tannin which sort of feels pliable from the get-go, then you look at other elements like extraction and acidity for the skeleton of the wine.

Structure is the framework all else hangs from. The ‘bones’ if you will.

To me, it’s tannin and acid – the bones. Effervescence might provide something similar, but I would never think of it as structure because it’s ephemeral.

John, the intensity and degree of integration of effervescence (is the CO2 in suspension or in solution with the liquid?) are a BIG structural element and one seriously addressed in beer reviewing. Just think how different a coke tastes when it is flat.

And, in the end, EVERYTHING is ephemeral…

This is a great point and one I have never considered

Flat Coke, or any soda for that matter, sucks. While I am not a fan of effervescence (spritz, secondary fermentation, etc.) in my still wines, I get where Roberto is coming from in his analogy.

It’s not an analogy, I am talking about the structure of sparkling wines and Champagnes, which are COMPLETELT different if they go flat. I happen to drink a LOT of those so it comes to mind immediately.

A further example is Prosecco: most producer bottle two versions of the SAME wine, one with crown caps / spago corks / exposed cages at 3 atmospheres and one with a traditional Champagne closure at 5 atmospheres. The first one, called Frizzante, SEEMS creamier and even sweeter and the second one, called Spumante, SEEMS dryer and crisper but all of that is caused by the structure of the bubbles (and a little extra carbonic acid in the Spumante).