Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wine Speak

I have written a great deal on wine. And I have never used a word of “wine language” – except once, when winemakers had gone mad on cold fermentation, when I described the general taste of it as being rather like pear drops.
            So now, looking at the descriptions on back labels, gives me great pleasure and much laughter.
            I have only been collecting these comparisons for a month or two and have recorded enough, using only those that I have actually read on the bottles that we have consumed.
            Making wine taste like various fruits predominate. For instance, these include: ripe berry (very popular), strawberries, prunes, cherries, peach, melon, pear, yellow and crisp apple, gooseberries, blueberries, ripe blackcurrants, juicy plum, bulging with ripe black plum, succulent black cherries - but not one, not a single mention of grape.
Other flavours include smoky mocha, chocolate in various forms, liquorice, oak scented, boxwood, rose flower, sweet and silky tannins, subtle spice, violet character, round mouth, brooding, approachable, eucalyptus gum, and two that I love: deft lemon acidity and spicy minerality.
            Should anyone ask you to describe a white wine on offer, you might try one of the last two, and watch for the reaction.
            If I ever do read that a wine tastes of grape, I will jump for joy.