Most people feel intimidated when it comes to wine. Jonathan Ross, the head sommelier at Eleven Madison Park, to explains some of the basic terms you’ll need to know to sound like a wine expert. Following is a transcript of this video.
I think when you talk about wine, obviously, the word “dry” is probably the most misunderstood or misused word. “Dry” means, by definition, that there is no sugar in the wine. Often times, when we taste, when we smell, a Riesling, we instantly think it’s sweet because it smells very fruity. So there really should be a distinction between something that smells “fruity” and is “sweet”. So often times, you could say something like, “I want something that is very high in aromatics” or “highly aromatic”. That could mean something’s very floral or has a lot of citrus character to it.
“Tannin” is something with red wines that is often spoke about, you know, between sommeliers, we use it to really judge wines when we are blind tasting and even whether it goes with food. So if you were to say, “I want something with a lot of tannin”, you’re saying you want something that really impacts your palate, that’s very rich, that maybe has an astringency to go along with its fruit character or its alcohol content.
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