Home Enthusiast What does ‘Lush’ mean in wine?

What does ‘Lush’ mean in wine?


While some hear the word lush and immediately think of one of the greatest shoegaze bands of all time, and others may associate it with someone who drinks too much, the term takes on a whole new meaning when it’s about wine.

Lush “describes a wine that is juicyplump and rich, but also deep,” says Kari Brant, vice president and general manager of wholesale at wine importer and distributor Frederick Wildman & Sons. “‘Luxurious’ wines are not necessarily unbalanced but often lead with their opulence and ripe fruit.”

A lush wine is usually fruity and full-bodied with a velvety texture, the opposite of a austere bottle.

Lush wine can be a bit polarizing. “I don’t often enjoy wines that I would call lush,” says Brant. “I look for wines that demonstrate precision, finesse, elegance and freshness.

Wine sellers sometimes avoid the term because of its potential negative connotations.

Kilolo Strobert, the owner of Fermented Grapes in Brooklyn, avoids the term altogether when describing wine and instead opts for words like supple or silky.

“I like to use ‘supple’ the most as an almost exact replacement for ‘lush’ when trying to describe how different wines feel on the palate,” she says. “And I use ‘silky’ to describe an extremely pleasant wine texture or a fantastic mouthfeel.”

In the wine business, “the term is a bit of a taboo,” says Brandt, because buyers tend to prefer focused, fresh wines with balanced fruit and high acidity.

If you’re looking to try a lush wine, you might want to pair it with grilled or aged meat. A lush wine also pairs well with honey or herb-infused goat cheese.

Some lush wines include some Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, as well as Super Tuscans like Campo di Sasso Insoglio Cinghiale, a wine that Kilolo has loved for years and carries in her shop, although she would rather call it “supple” than “lush.”

Posted on July 12, 2022