Wine Terms and Definitions

Photo by: Brad Andersohn
When hearing  someone define the taste or the texture of a wine, it can be interesting and quite comical. I will never forget the first time I heard someone refer to the wine as Barnyard.  HUH??  Well, that term refers to the flavor or smell of manure…Double Huh??

The question is, who has really tasted manure anyway?

On The Wine Lovers Page, they define it quite nicely. In the sometimes slightly wacky world of wine evaluation, it is entirely possible for a wine taster to say, “This wine tastes like $#@*!” … and mean it as a compliment.

Let’s take a look at bad flavors in good wines, and specifically brettanomyces (“Breh-TAN-oh-MY-sees” or just plain “brett” for short). Brett is a wild yeast that’s sometimes found on grapeskins and that can get into wine barrels, where it resides and grows and can be almost impossible to remove. When brett appears in a wine, it creates earthy organic aromas and flavors that don’t sound appetizing. The aroma of brett-afflicted wines may range from leathery to mousey, wet-fur, or “barnyard” aromas like chicken manure or horse sweat. Some tasters also find a twangy metallic quality in the aftertaste of bretty wines. In short, it’s no coincidence that many wine scientists refer to wines with brett as “afflicted” or “infected.” Read entire post here…

Another funny one is Cat Pee, referring to a Sauvignon Blanc , which I have personally experienced when drinking this varietal. So with that said, there are many interesting ways to define the wine you are tasting.  I think it could either be super funny or extremely annoying to throw around some of these terms depending on the company you’re with.

Here are some terms from Wine Folly, one of my favorite wine blogs.

CHEWY: When you take a sip of wine with chewy tannins, it dries out the interior of your mouth so that you “chew” or clean the tannins of the insides of your mouth.

CIGAR BOX: Cigar box flavors are hinting toward sweetness and cedar-wood with an abundance of smoke. This is a super positive and desirable characteristic that wine writers love to use when they find a wine they wish they could just slowly sip on a leather chair.

FLABBY: Flabby means the wine has no acidity.

BRIGHT: Bright wines are higher in acidity and make your mouth water.

Go on and have some fun with these.  For a full list visit Wine Folly. Their Motto is, Learn by drinking.

I LIKE THAT!
Cin, Cin Salute!

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