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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 »

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 »

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 »

Musty

An odor in wine reminiscent of dank old attics. Usually due to moldy grapes or unclean storage containers.

Mousy

An odor in wine, suggesting spoilage.

Moldy

Unpleasant odor of mold in a wine, transmitted from moldy grapes, containers or corks.

Mildew

A fungus infestation of a vineyard that is a major problem in quali­ty vineyard control. Heavily mildewed grapes can often transmit the odor to the final wine.