Wine Tasting Terms

Understanding Common Wine Terminology

“Paul, I joined the club to learn about wines and enjoy thoroughly the wines you have sent. The in­formation is great and educational and I like the way it leans toward the humanist side rather than the technical side. Some of the bottles you have sent to me, however, list interesting information of which I… read more »

The Matter of Wine Glasses

The maximum enjoyment of fine wines can only be accomplished by observing certain basic guidelines about how they are served. The service of wines includes the consideration of optimum tempera­ture, the age, the uncorking of the bottle, and the pouring of the wine into the glass. The question is…which glass? Other than the clos­est drinking vessel at hand,… read more »

Wine Tasting Party

“This is a new twist for us. We received such a fun letter from a member we wanted to share it with everyone. Her cover letter closed with; “……keep up the good work on finding us quality wines to sip each month.” The enclosure reads as fol­lows. “Recently, for my assistant’s 30th birthday, I decided… read more »

What Are The Crystals On The Bottom Of The Cork?

Paul, I recently had a red wine se­lection from your club that showed little crystals on the bottom of the cork. What are they and are they harmful ? As wine ages in the bottle the satu­ration level of the natural ingre­dients changes. Very often in both red and white wines tartaric crys­tals will form… read more »

This Matter of Cellaring (Part Two)

Seasoned wine enthusiasts who have taken up the ageing of wines, find that they have to keep close track of their cellar. They watch a wine by tasting it along its path to maturity. When it has reached its peak of development, they then set out to consume it in a reasonably short term of… read more »

Our Wine Tasting Process

Here is the gist of a typical conversation that has repeated it­self during the last year between Paul Jr. and myself (Sr.), since I moved to Julian (It is usually the following sequence of events). Paul Jr. goes to a trade tasting sponsored by a distributor, and does his thing of tasting every wine at… read more »

What’s The Difference Between Aroma and Bouquet?

Last week, at a charity wine tast­ing, I overheard a conversation of two enthusiasts. Though rather interesting in scope it lead me to believe that the two characteristics “aroma” and “bou­quet” are often used interchangeably when further investigation shows a distinct difference between the two. The following is a reprint of the 9/89 newsletter with… read more »

The Matter Of Letting The Bottle “Breathe”

I do not belong to the school that insists all wine must be allowed to breathe before serving. If the belief is rigid, I consider it a fetish. To really recognize the benefit that comes from “breathing” of wine, one must look at the chemistry of wine, and the physics of the breathing pro­cess. What… read more »

Bouquet vs Aroma

“Paul: You keep using “bouquet” and “aroma” at different times in your wine descriptions, and some­times you use both terms for the same wine. I must assume there is a difference. What is the differ­ence?” – H.S. San Jose; CA You assumed right! There is a difference. Both terms pertain to the smell or the… read more »

Yeasty

The smell of yeast in wine. Can be interesting in young wines, when present in minimal amounts. Any domi­nant odor of yeast is a negative and usu­ally a sign of incomplete fermentation. An aged yeasty bouquet is desirable in certain sparkling wines like Champagne.