Varietal. Nice word, isn’t it? Basically, when a liquor store’s certified wine buff asks you which “varietal” you usually enjoy, he’s asking for nothing more than your favorite grape juice.
In fact, the French word “cépage” comes from the old word for foot-vineyard (cep), along with the -age suffix that indicates the derivative of a noun (like folio -> foliage, know’am’sayin?) All right, now that the etymology part is out of the way, let’s discuss the varietal’s impact on the taste of our favorite drink.
We all have unique and particular taste, and that’s what makes life interesting (and maybe that’s why Justin Bieber still has a career…) But what OBJECTIVELY makes a great wine great? Is there even such a thing?
We often hear the words “great wine” thrown around, and especially by people who speak with some claim to authority (rightly or wrongly so…) That said, is there an objective definition of what makes “great wine,” “OK wine” and “bad wine?” Allow me to offer you some ways to look at this, though these will never be purely objective…
At the beginning of our adventures in the wonderful world of vino, we all pretty much had the same reaction: either we identified with those who liked “bold” or “full-bodied” wine, or with those who liked the “fruitier” stuff.
For some reason that escapes me, these are the descriptors every f*cking body uses and abuses, like there was some kind of world consensus on wine being either “bold” or “fruity.” However, because you, as an avid reader of this fine blog, simply can’t wait to become a better- nay – the best drinker (though this gal will be hard to beat), here’s a little list of terms you can use to spice up your wine lingo.
Oh, wine tasting. I bet we’ve all gotten a bit queasy hearing that snotty friend drinking wine and talking about it like a “connaiseur”, but how does one actually engage in proper wine tasting?
This was probably enough to remind you of that horrible sluuuuuuuuurp sound we usually associate with snotty cork-snffers. Surprise surprise, however, there’s absolutely no need to make the whole table sick to taste wine properly (even if the slurping can actually help, sawry). Indeed, as we take the bother to give a little attention to each element of the delicious beverage that is ahead, we are usually able to multiply our pleasure enjoying without losing friend ( s) and / or seeming that guy/gal. But what are the elements you say, dear readers? Well fear not – here’s a small list outlining my best tasting practices.