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Learning New Language – Wine Language

Are you a wine connoisseur or do you just hope to manage not to embarrass yourself? Whichever of the two is the case, we have a list of wine-related must-know expressions.

Have you ever gotten into a fancy restaurant, took a look at the huge drinks menu, and then decided to ask your waiter for a recommendation? Then you know it was a mistake. As soon as you heard that the wine has “earthy tones” and is “lean” with “puckery tannins”, you immediately discovered that you are lost and that you need to pull off your best poker face ever and order something that you can understand.

For most of us, wine talk is like a foreign language. Yeah, we like to drink it, and we know if it’s red or white, but that is all about it. Here’s the thing, if you don’t know how to explain what you want to drink, you might end up with something that will cost you a lot but will not have the taste to match.

We reached into the knowledge of “cork dorks”, and pulled out a wine dictionary that you have to master in order to enjoy your favorite wine taste.

“Wine – it should be enjoyed for the benefits of the soul – and nothing more.” — Peter Fiduccia

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Words under B

Balthazar – This is a bottle of 12L, which is like 16 normal wine bottles.

Blue wine – Blue, in this case, is not the flavor, but the taste. When wine is rich and from warmer climates, it tastes like blue fruits like plums, blueberries, or blackberries.

Boxtree – or as some would say, smells like cat pee. This polite euphemism is here to explain the scent of Sauvignon Blanc.

Brix – Believe it or not, this is a measure of the amount of sugar in a wine.

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Words under C

Chewy – When a wine is so rich it seems almost thick while you drink it. Also known as Crunchy.

Chunky Monkey – You can probably guess that here, you get a lot of unwanted sediment. This wine should probably be decanted.

Corkage cowboy – This is more of restaurant slang. It marks a guest who brings his own wine in order to avoid paying high restaurant prices.

Cork dork – a wine enthusiast.

Corked – When a bottle cork gets contaminated by Trichloroanisole, giving the wine a dank, musty smell and a strange taste.

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Words under D

Demi – Half the size of a normal wine bottle, 375ml.

Donut wine – When you taste it, it seems to be lacking in structure mid-palate.

Dr. Who wines – Like Dr.Who’s Tardis, these wines’ exterior does not match the intensity of the interior. They are bigger on the inside.

Words under F

Fruit bomb – These are usually acidic and more alcoholic wines, with a highly ripe fruit smell and taste.

Flabby – A wine with no acidity and no structure.

Floral – wines that smell like flowers.

Foxy – A wine that has a smell of a wet fur coat, musky and wild.

Funky – A wine that has Brettanomyces, a type of yeast in it, giving it a “barnyard” smell.

Other words

Good legs – A highly alcoholic wine.

Head snapper – When a wine has a tainted cork, and you open and smell it, and your head snaps back.

Infanticide – When you drink a wine that is too young.

Lacey – Wines that do not have a uniform taste and texture, but give different sensations as the wine moves through the mouth.

Mousy – A wine flaw that makes it taste like corn chips, popcorn or like rodents were there.

New World – Wines that were not made in Europe or North Africa.

Oak Monster – A wine that has spent way too much time in the barrel, so it is too oaky.

Quaffable – Wines that you can drink a lot of without giving them a thought. Basically, wines that just taste good.

Silky – These are wines you can’t get a grip on, as they slip through your mouth like silk.

Stems – A pretty girl’s legs, or when a wine is in mind, glassware.

Tannic – Those wines where you can feel the drying effects of wood or plant tannins.

Tight – Not drinkable yet.

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Unicorn – When you run into a rare bottle that won’t be made again or a rare release of a rare winery. Also known as a “Snow leopard”.

Vertical wine – Comes from vines grown in rockier areas. Flavor goes from the tongue to the roof of the mouth.

Enjoy your wines, and take the first opportunity that arises to show off your newfound knowledge.

And now, we must bid you farewell and say it is wine-o-clock – time for wine-drinking.



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