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Learn to Speak Wine With Confidence!

Learn to Speak Wine With Confidence!

Laurita Winery , wine advice 🕔August 28, 2017 0 comments

You know you like wine. You’re reading a wine blog, after all. And you undoubtedly know some wines you like. You’ve probably run across a few you don’t like as well. The challenge with wine is in developing the vocabulary to articulate what you do and do not like, so you can find more of the former while avoiding the latter.

Learning to “speak” wine can be intimidating, but it does have its rewards.

Jenni Avins at Quartz Media recently interviewed Marissa A. Ross, wine editor at Bon Appetit, about her new book book Wine. All the Time.: The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking.

Here are her tips on how to become a person who can confidently speak to a sommelier, bring a great bottle to a friend’s house, and stop wasting money on wine that turns to vinegar on the kitchen counter.

Don’t be embarrassed about your wine vocabulary – or lack thereof! Don’t be ashamed to use descriptions that pop into your head, even if you’re not sure they make sense.

“The most important thing to learn the language of wine, is to just drink more wine and talk your way through it—sort of like you would with any foreign language,” said Ross. “If you immerse yourself in Italy and try to learn Italian, you’re going to be stumbling around for a little bit, but you’re going to get it eventually.”

If you want a sense of common language, there are some relatively universal terms to learn. With wine, aromas can be broken down into five basic categories: fruit, earth, floral, green, and spice. Each of those can be broken down into sub-categories, and there are additional aromas that come from aging and fermentation.

Other useful terms include the categories of sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and umami—as well as characteristics such as sweetness, acidity, tannin, body, and texture.

As you taste more wine (and talk more wine, like a language immersion course), you’ll discover your wine vocabulary growing naturally and yourself speaking wine more confidently.


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