Posts Tagged ‘Descriptions’

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Why Wine Descriptions?
How do you buy wine when you don’t know what it tastes like? A lot of folks (including me) rely on reading wine descriptions to get an idea of what a wine will taste like. Wine writing is a business and its job is to SELL wine, not to be honest or accurate. Below is a list of common wine descriptions and what they actually mean.
Wine Descriptions Glossary

Wines with high acidity are tart and zesty. Red wines generally have a lighter color and more tart characteristics (versus “round”). White wines are often described with characteristics similar to lemon or lime juice.
An angular wine is like putting a triangle in your mouth – it hits you in specific places with high impact and not elsewhere. It’s like getting punched in the arm in the same place over and over again. An angular wine also has high acidity.
This is a very unfriendly wine. It hits your mouth and then turns it inside out. It usually means the wine has very high acidity and very little fruit flavors. An austere wine is not fruit-forward nor opulent.
This means the wine smells like poo. It’s never used anymore describing a wine, unless the wine writer is attempting to dig that wine an early grave.
Big describes a wine with massive flavor in your mouth that takes up all sections of your mouth and tongue. A big wine is not necessarily a fruit-forward wine, it can also mean that it has big tannins.
Bright wines are higher in acidity and make your mouth water. GO TO ACIDITY
A wine with buttery characteristics has been aged in oak and generally is rich and flat (less Acidity). A buttery wine often has a cream-like texture that hits the middle of your tongue almost like oil (or butter) and has a smooth finish.

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When reading anything about wine, whether on wine lists, in wine columns, magazine ads or on those little shelf talkers in the wine shop, you have to know that hyperbole is the insincerest form of flattery.

This also refers to some of the descriptors used by wine collectors for the wines they buy and serve. In most cases, the phrases used about wine are sheer gobbledygook.

We all know the justifiable lie, and the two that define the genre: “The check is in the mail,” and “The chef is in the kitchen this evening.” The euphemistic language used by some of today’s wine ad copywriters is equally fictitious.

Such language helps wine collectors discuss their purchases using many of the same phrases. The problem comes when unskilled newcomers to wine wield them. Then the terms sound silly. Here are a few of the euphemisms/lies and what they really mean:

“This wine has a hint of smoke.” It’s so oaky that Greenpeace has demanded the winemaker sign a reforestation pledge.

“It’s a big, bold wine.” It has 16.5% alcohol and ought to carry a warning label that says “Flammable.”

Read on …


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