It’s a whole lot easier to speak in wine-talk than in book-talk, so if you get invited to a book club and you’re having a hard time keeping up with the metaphor, simile, narrative, irony language involved with discussing the actual book, bring a bottle of wine and get ready to wine-talk! So let’s get into it and next time we’ll do cheese-talk – after all, it’s much more fun to discuss things you can literally consume than things you can just read about!
Here they are – my WINE ABCs
A Acidity: this refers to the tart or sour feeling created by acids in the wine. High acidity gives you a sour or tart wine and low acidity gives you a flat wine.
B Basic is the entirely condescending term given to low cost starter wines at a winery/tasting. This is opposed to the premium offerings from the vineyard and while they tend to mean it with a hint of judgment, a good vineyard is as proud of their basic wines as they are their more premium selections.
Cask Differing between vineyards, wines and types of wines, a cask is a barrel or storage vessel (often made from oak, which sometimes you can even taste) used for fermenting or aging wine.
Decanter A decanter is entirely unnecessary in the wine drinking process, but it’s certainly a flashy way to demonstrate to your guests that you give a shit about wine. This proclaims to separate the sediment from the wine, creating a smoother more enjoyable wine experience. If this was so necessary, they’d do it before the bottled the stuff! But again, it looks good!
Eau de vie Could it be any more French to refer to wine as WATER OF LIFE – it’s laughably pretentious and if the French are anything, it’s laughably pretentious. I like to use this term when mocking the Europeans who gave us the idea of wine and then got mad at us for making it accessible.
Fine Wine Nope. Just no.
Ice Wine This is a Canadian type of wine wherein the wine is made from frozen grapes. I haven’t tried this yet because Canada is basically upper-America if we were communists, but it sounds delicious and I hope somebody else spends some money on it soon so I can try it!
Jug Wine Otherwise unspecific table wine. Usually it’s pretty drinkable, pretty cheap, and pretty straightforward.
Kosher Wine This is for Jewish wine-lovers who prefer to keep a kosher diet. Obviously, I have no interest in it but it’s good to know that it exists.
Meritage This is an American Bordeaux made in California. It’s America’s answer to the invented French ownership of the whole wine industry. We can do it better. As evidenced by Meritage!
Nose Wanna sound like a real asshole at a wine-tasting? Talk about the NOSE of a wine. All this means is the aroma of the wine. “Oh this wine has the nose of oak” just means, it smells oaky.
Oenophile While they’re using latin to confuse you because the Intellectual Elite is even trying to take over the vocabulary of food in America – this just means “wine-lover.”
Port Port is a super-sweet syrupy Portugese wine imitated all over the world.
Rich This usually refers to a very flavorful very sweet wine.
Sparkling Fancy wines with bubbles are referred to as Sparkling in America – it’s our response to the Champagne and Processo words used in Europe to describe such a simple, delightful wine charged with gas.
Table Wine See Jug Wine
Vin/Vino French for wine. Use it whenever you would say “wine” but are committed to looking like the most well-read smug wine-lover at your gathering.