5 Wine terms that make you sound smart

Ever been drinking wine with a group of people and your bougie friend says, “This Sonoma Cab is so full-bodied, it would just pair perfectly with a bacon-wrapped filet mignon topped with a red wine reduction and $100 bills.”?

We all have that friend. Honestly, I think I’m probably that friend to a lot of the people I know. But for the love of God, I really try to know my audience and avoid comments like that if possible.

For those of you that want to partake in the bougie tasting conversation, here are 5 wine terms you can name drop so people think you know what you’re talking about:

  1. Tannins
    In a sentence: “This Syrah is really tannic” or “This Syrah has great tannins”
    When to use it: when you’re drinking red wine, typically Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot and Malbec
    What it actually means: the wine is dry and your mouth feels like you just bit into an unripe banana
  2. Fruit-forward
    In a sentence: “I like love this blend, it’s really fruit-forward and easy to drink”
    When to use it: applicable to all wine; red, white, and rose
    What it actually means: the wine might come off a bit sweet tasting, but rather than sugar, you are probably tasting the fruit characteristics like pear, peach, watermelon, strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry from the grape varietal
  3.  Full-bodied
    In a sentence: “The red blend is big, bold, and full-bodied”
    When to use it: typically when drinking red wine that kind of slaps you in the face when you drink it
    What it actually means: a full-bodied wine is usually associated with dry, intense flavors. If the wine tastes like juice and you want to toss some oranges in there and make Sangria, it’s probably not full-bodied
  4. Long finish
    In a sentence: “Wow, talk about a long-finish! I still taste the wine and I swallowed 5 minutes ago”
    When to use it: typically when drinking reds, but a big buttery California Chardonnay could have a long finish, too
    What it actually means: anytime you swallow a wine, and a minute or two goes by and you can still taste it in your mouth. Some wines quickly disappear once you swallow, but those with a long finish linger for about a minute(I’m sorry, but did anyone else feel sexual reading that?)
  5. Breathe
    In a sentence: “It’s a 2016 Merlot, so it probably needs to breathe for a while before drinking” or “Let the wine breathe and open up before tasting it”
    When to use it: I believe that most wines benefit from breathing before drinking, but usually you’ll want to let really old wines, really young wines, and really expensive wines breath. You’re probably good to pop open the 14 Hands Red Blend and drink it through a straw right away.
    What it actually means: put the wine in a decanter (or a vase and just pretend you own a decanter) for 20 minutes. Some wines should breathe for multiple hours before they really reach their peak


So there you have it. Go on with your bad, basic self and impress your wino friends with your new expanded vocabulary. Try it in the real world and let me know the responses you get!



PS, here’s what I’m drinking tonight: 2015 Patterson Cabernet Franc, $50, paired with some really disgusting vegan Mozzarella, some really amazing Cambozola, and some decent Blue Apron chicken chili