Over the years (and through my wine learnin’) I’ve built up a pretty badass vocabulary to talk about wine. Some words are just so appropriate I’m glad I can now call on them when I need to, and some are just so freaking wacky that I get a kick out of using them to remind myself that wine shouldn’t be all snootiness and pretension.
Some of my favourites include:
- Damson plum – a very specific (and very satisfying) descriptor one of my former classmates liked to use
- Garden hose – a weird descriptor that is sometimes the only appropriate word to describe a Reisling
- Pizza dough – that fresh, raw, kind of wet doughy smell you get sometimes from traditional method sparkling wine
- Fresh earth/forest floor – things I would probably never actually want to taste, but things I nevertheless love in a good Pinot Noir
Weird, right? There are so many commonly-used words and phrases to choose from. It’s pretty fantastic! As a word nerd I love finding just the right combination to describe a wine so that it makes perfect sense (I’m better at it some days than others. Sometimes all I can come up with is: is tastes like… wine?).
There is, however, one word that is not welcome in my personal wine lexicon. It is vague and nondescript and, really, completely useless.