10 Things Overhead in Class
|Image created by Mick Stephenson mixpix|
“How heavy is the oak influence?”
I have no idea why I thought this was funny; This is actually a really common question and a very important one that can tell you a lot about the wine. It was the first day, so I guess I was still kind of shell-shocked.
“Where is the fruit hiding? There’s not a lot of nose on this wine”
Sometimes when you stick your nose in a glass, you’ll pick up everything except fruit. It may take two, three, four smells to really “find” smells of fruit, earth, oak, etc.
“Does anyone else get that petrol on the palate?”
Petrol, oh petrol. It took me a full 7 weeks to be able to pick up on that smell during tastings, and I still find it a hilarious descriptor, along with “cat pee.” (Seriously.)
“You’ve got lots of weight in your mouth.”
This is used to describe a more full-bodied wine, perhaps with an oily film that coats the mouth.
“Now that’s some RIPPING-high acid.”
Acidity is that puckering sensation you feel when your mouth immediately starts to salivate upon the first sip. This expression is usually referencing a Sauvignon Blanc, known for its very high acidity.
“It’s got a little backbone, lots of juiciness.”
This expression must have been used to describe an elegantly balanced wine, meaning that you can easily observe the structure (the acid and tannins) while also picking up on some pleasant fruit notes as well.
“Now this one may not hold up to a steak.”
If you’re eating a rich, robust cut of meat, you need a wine to match. A wine you usually enjoy alone can seem flabby when it’s not paired thoughtfully.
“Find me a masculine-style Pinot.”
Wine that has notes of leather, cigar box and smoked meat. Stereotypes are fun!
“The wine is so clean, it’s almost clinical.”
When a wine is aged in stainless steel (as opposed to oak) it can be quiet crisp, but when overdone it loses its appeal.
“Now this, my friends, is some Cougar crack.”
An overly-oaked, buttery, creamy Chardonnay that’s so one-dimensional it’s almost a caricature of itself, very popular with middle-aged socialites and those who wish they were.