JOIN ME IN CREATING A BETTER WAY TO TALK ABOUT WINE!
Traditional ‘winespeak’ – the language used by wine writers – may impress some, but for most, it’s meaningless. And more importantly it does not deliver what it promises to, which is to tell us what to expect from a wine. Endless list of flavours and other components such as acids, tannins and finish are only addressing the surface of a wine – stuff that’s obvious and easy to measure. A mug-shot, in police language. Imagine a concert review that just told you which instruments were played and how the music was constructed.
Winespeak fails to get to the heart of the wine, because it’s busy dissecting. It ignores the personality – the feeling you would have while drinking the wine. What would the experience be like? Wine, like music, is an emotional experience – something we feel. Therefore winespeak should paint a word picture of the experience – possibly using a metaphor or analogy to create images in our imagination. The more vivid the picture, and the simpler the language, the better sense we’ll have of the wine. We’ll see what the writer felt. Wouldn’t that be great!
Please join me in putting an end to traditional Winespeak and creating a better one.
We’ve created a WINESPEAK FORUM for you to post your descriptions and upload a photo of any wine you would like to share. Who knows – you could win some prizes or become as famous as me! And be happier knowing you’re improving the world – while you drink. ENTER THE FORUM NOW!
GUIDELINES FOR A BETTER WINESPEAK
1. To help you get started use my Wine Category System, read about Wine by Mood or my WINE SPECTRUM (pdf).
2. Concentrate on the overall ‘feeling’ of the wine.
3. Think about the ‘experience’ you’re having.
4. Don’t analyze, don’t think – just feel.
5. Don’t judge the wine – describe the experience. Let your imagination fly.
Instead of tannin describe the feeling such as tangy
Instead of acid describe the feeling such as sharp or perky
Colours (to suggest a feeling)
Music or any analogy (cars, books, places, fabric)
Moods/situations (suggested by the wine)
Human characteristics (serious, playful, gentle, loud, soulful, charming, pleasant, sexy, wild, etc.)