January 9, 2016 § Leave a comment
There is a ton of jargon in the wine game. Some of it has meaning and some of it seems to simply be there to create an air of exclusivity. This episode of the Dork UnCorked Radio Hour touches on some of the most misunderstood ‘jargon’ that actually has meaning.
Segment 1 ~ In The News
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye seems to have made it’s way back onto a number of BC Liquor Store shelves. As of Thursday Jan. 7, 2015 the only island store to have any was Fort & Foul Bay and at the time the had 5 cases. As of this writing (9am Sat. Jan. 9) Fort St. has sold out but Nanaimo Terminal Park shows 22 bottles.
The word on the street is that more may be arriving in the last week of January or the beginning of February.
Jargon – Glut and Plonk. Carol asks “in previous episodes you used the terms Glut & Plonk. I had an idea of what these mean but I thought I would ask.”
Glut – means more wine is available than there is demand. In the 90’s there was a glut of Australian wine on the market that was eventually sucked up by the Chinese market.
Plonk – a derogatory term suggesting the quality of the wine is far below the price being charged. Typically wines under $10 are often written off as plonk and that is ashame.
Segment 2 ~ Flavour Based Jargon
Terms like minerality, jammy, red fruits are all there to describe what flavours the taster may find in the wine, but often they serve to confuse instead of define.
Minerality – this is a fairly delicate flavour that most found in wines made with Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chenin Blanc and others. The flavour is similar to that which you find in a glass of water that you scooped out of a mountain stream (Petrol is a flavour you would find in the Gorge Waterway).
Red Fruits – typically found in Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc etc, this refers to flavours like raspberry, red cherry, red currants.
Tree Fruits – For white wines like Chardonnay, Viognier and South American Sauvignon Blanc, this refers to fruits like Apples and Pears.
Stone Fruits – This refers to flavours like Peaches, plums and apricots. For white wines you can find these flavours in Moscato, Riesling, Australian Chardonnay. In reds flavours of plums are often found in Merlot, Malbec, Negromaro & Zinfandel.
Black & Blue – this is all about black and blue fruits like blackberries, blueberries and black cherry. Typically found in Malbec, Zinfandel, Primitivo and Syrah/Shiraz.
Segment Three ~ Texture
Texture is all about how the wine feels in the mouth, or on the palate. Wine has sugars, acids and tannins and each contribute to the texture of a wine.
Round/Angular – Deborah had emailed asking if these two terms were contrastive. Deborah, yes they are! In fact most terms regarding texture are. Round means that the acids in the wine have been tamed through winemaking or ageing. One way to look at the difference is the difference between milk and apples. Milk has a creamier, rounder texture, whereas an apple can be more crisp and angular or with edges. Neither is bad in the right context. If you want a round wine like to richer bodied, and often older wines like Merlot, Grenache or oak aged Chardonnay. For angular wines look to younger and generally white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Vinho Verde.
Crisp/Zippy/Vibrant – These are wines which showcase their acidity. This is a good thing. Sparkling wines, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.
Unctuous – This is related to Round, but is a higher level of round. This is a wine that is seems of explode in the mouth and is full flavoured.
Flabby – This is a derogatory term that means the wine doesn’t have enough acid and is more or less grape juice.
Sweet Tannin – Tannin is a component of every wine but it is more prominent in bigger reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Zinfandel. In fact tannin is the reason these are considered bigger reds. Tannin is what gives the wine, and tea for that matter, it’s pucker. You know, that feeling when your mouth wants to pucker up. Tannin reduces over time and is counter acted when paired with ficher, fattier, foods. Tannin is why Cabernet Sauvignon goes so well with a big thick steak. Sweet tannin means that the tannins don’t over shadow and dominate the fruit. They add structure and yet are in balance with the rest of the wine.
Segment 4 ~ Finish/Overall
The finish of a wine is the flavour and texture impressions it leaves you with and for how long.
White wines mostly have a short to medium long finish, and there are not many that are considered to have a long finish. On the other hand there aren’t many wines that offer a short finish. The vast majority have medium or long finishes.
Throughout the show we talked about what is better and the answer is the combination of flavour, texture and finish that makes you go wow. This changes over time, season and the mood you are in. Sometimes a fresh, crisp short finish sparkling is ideal, whereas other occasions require a big, full flavoured, jammy, put you on your ass red. You are the judge of quality and value and no one else.
Best Buy Of The Week ~ Farnese Primitivo $11.49
Thanks for listening and feel free to drop us a line here in the comments or by email at email@example.com