Sure, I liked drinking wine but couldn’t care less where the grapes came from or what flavor notes were. That was back in the day when I used to pull the prettiest label off the shelf and guzzle it down without thinking. TBH, I was totally wine-illiterate.
Until that fateful brunch, months ago now . . . my brother-in-law told me that the 2019 Chop Shop® Cabernet Sauvignon I was knocking back isn’t just any old run-of-the-mill wine. It’s bold, luscious, and has a full-bodied palate. He advised me to slow down and savor the dark cherry, dark plum, raspberry, and vanilla notes. Adore!
Full-bodied palate? Fruit-forward personality? Wine seems to have an intoxicating language all its own. I was that intrigued, I’m now absolutely obsessed!
Over the centuries, vintners and wine aficionados have used quite the colorful vocabulary to describe a vast variety of wines. Although some may sound mysterious, melodramatic - or even gross - they’re meant to convey the essence of a glass of wine.
A good place to start is Flavor Notes. Every wine has a variety ofPrimary Aromas - fruity, floral, herbaceous, earthy, or spicy. Secondary Aromas - like nuttiness or buttery notes - come from the winemaking process. Tertiary Aromas - vanilla, cocoa, baking spices - come from aging. All three aromas contribute to the smell, taste, and feel of a particular wine.
That wasn’t too crazy, was it? But - believe me - those are rather staid terms compared to these 7 wonderfully weird words from the world of wine.
Dumb - As a wine ages it can lose its complexities and aromas. However, a Dumb wine can regenerate over a period of time and taste better than ever. These dopey wines may have their advocates, but I’ll take an intellectually satisfying wine any day.
Flamboyant - No, this wine isn’t one of Lizzo’s dancers. It’s a glass packed with rousingly prominent fruit notes and wants the world to know it!
Foxy - The wine has the musty odor of a fox. Like its Flamboyant cousin, this foxiness is far from a flaw. It all depends on how it balances with other elements in a wine’s personality.
Gasoline - German Rieslings can have the scent of petrol which lets connoisseurs know they’re drinking a particularly high-quality bottle.
Horse Stable - Also known as Barnyard - or Band-Aid - this spicy note produces hints of leather, hay, bacon, and . . . manure. Okay-ewww. Not everyone enjoys the cow-pie element, but those who do simply love it?!?
Stemmy - As you might expect, some grape stems slipped in during fermentation.
Wet Dirt - Not the name of your cousin’s eco-sonic, po-mo, kazoo garage band. Also called Forest Floor, these full-bodied reds contain a rich, earthy note.
After digging around in the wet dirt of the forest floor, I’m officially an Oenophile - a lover of wine. And before I knew it I was speaking wine - fluently, if not fluidly. My secret to such lightning learning: Winc - a super-fun, monthly wine club.
They have a fantastic range of wines that only cost $13 - $20 a bottle but currently retail at $15-$28. If you act now you can save $20-off on your 1st 4-bottle shipment! After the initial shipment, each month Winc charges $59.95 which can be used on 4 bottles of wine of your choice. Plus, any unused credits can be carried over to the following month.
Now that I've adopted this snazzy wine lingo, I’m ready to travel the world 's cafés chatting like an amateur sommelier.
Even if you aren’t a wine lover, you've got to admit it's cool to flaunt such splashy wine terms. Whether you use them ironically or merely as a conversation starter. And of course, you always have your loyal Winc box to fall back on.