Millennials love wine. But drinking it is the easy part, talking about it, not so much. Sipping wine is very different from speaking wine.
Wine tasting requires a sophisticated language we often fake with rehearsed phrases like, “I’m in the mood for something full-bodied” or “this Chardonnay is too oaky for me.” Thankfully you don’t need years of sommelier experience to sound like a wine connoisseur. To help you talk like the ultimate wine educator, here are a few wine words and tasting terms every millennial should know.
Definition: Wine with a lower alcohol content has more residual sugar that is felt on the tip of the tongue, thus it is deemed as sweet tasting.
Used in a sentence: “Riesling is too sweet for me.”
Definition: A wine is fruity if it has a higher alcohol content and a sweetness to it that is not felt on the tip of the tongue.
Used in a sentence: “Just because I like fruity wines doesn’t mean I’ll drink Moscato.”
Definition: The body of a wine refers to how light or heavy it feels in one’s mouth.
Used in a sentence: “I’m not a fan of red wine, it’s too full-bodied for me.”
Definition: Easily mistaken as a flavour, tannin is actually a polyphenol produced during the winemaking process that causes a mouth-drying feeling on the palate.
Used in a sentence: “I can really feel the tannins of this Cab Sauv in my cheeks.”
Definition: Wine is acidic if it has a refreshing, mouth-puckering quality to it that is felt under the tongue and on the sides of the palate.
Used in a sentence: “I like my wine like a lemonade; with lots of acidity.”
Definition: A salty and briny quality of a wine.
Used in a sentence: “This wine has lots of minerality to it—It’s like licking a rock from the bottom of the ocean.”
Definition: The year a wine’s grapes were harvested.
Used in a sentence: “I’m so into that vineyard’s 2002 vintage merlot.”
Definition: This is a buttery, toasty-vanilla quality from the flavour impartation of the oak barrel that the wine is aged in during the winemaking process.
Used in a sentence: “I can always taste the oaky quality in New Zealand wines.”
Definition: If a wine is earthy, that means that it is savoury and free of sweet fruit notes.
Used in a sentence: “I love reds from Chile and France. They’re much more earthy.”
Definition: A wine’s finish refers to the sensations that take place in the mouth after swallowing. Wine typically leaves a residual taste that’s either sweet, tart, bitter, smoky or some combination of these.
Used in a sentence: “This wine has a very smoky finish with light hints of dry blackcurrant.”
Definition: A wine is complex if it has multiple flavour sensations and finishes.
Used in a sentence: “I can really taste the layering in this pinot noir; it’s really quite complex.”
Word: Old World
Definition: Refers to wines originating from Europe that are usually lower in alcohol content and subtler in their flavour profiles.
Used in a sentence: “I like my wine refined, subtle, and versatile, like Old World Cabernets.”
Word: New World
Definition: Refers to wines that are from anywhere outside of Europe such as North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. These wines are usually higher in alcohol content and more fruit-forward.
Used in a sentence: “I’m more of a fruity drink kind of gal so I love New World wines.”
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