There are so many wines out there! How to choose? When prowling around for a new affordable tasty “drink now” wine, our primary resource in making a selection is often reading about, or listening to, someone’s recommendations, and descriptions.
There is a large, fairly standard set of descriptive tasting terms for wines. Berries, licorice, apple, citrus, smoke, tropical fruit, etc.. Some of these terms are universally evocative. These help us choose a wine that suits our tastes. On the other hand, some are a rather unhelpful – even to those of us who have been drinking wine all our lives. What does “red fruit” taste or smell like exactly, or a currant? (I’ve never eaten one, have you?).
Not only do these terms indicate what to look for in a wine, but they also show what to avoid. I personally don’t chew saddles for pleasure, or snack on dirt, so I tend to mostly steer clear of wines that are described primarily by words like leather or earth. COmplex, maybe, enjoyable, not so much for me. Right now I am into wines that reflect the fruit aspect of the grape so I lock onto words that describe fruity aspects of a wine. But that’s just me.
Another thing I watch for are non-specific descriptive terms like “bright” or “lively” on a label. I find if the wine maker can’t be clear about the attributes of their own wine quite possibly there is something to hide. Bright just might mean too much acid. (Wine Cat Judy must interject here and say she is guilty of using the term “bright”.)
Of course the worst of it is when people lie. Oh yeah, it happens. How about that sour, woody bottle of red that described itself on the label as chock full of cherries and berries?
Of course now comes the really onerous task of refining our palate vocabulary by tasting some affordable ready to drink “now” wines. Time for a good Cab. Maybe we will finally figure out what a currant tastes like.