Food & Drink

The Bluffer’s Guide To Wine | 5 Tips for Sounding Like A Wine Pro’

By Desta Cullen
26th May 2014

Do you love drinking wine but have no idea how to talk about it?

Just because your tastebuds are well developed and you know your Tempranillo from your Grenache, doesn't mean you know how to articulate what's so good about the drop or describe the wine in any kind of detail.

Maybe you just want to sound like you know what you are talking about at a fancy restaurant with your friends? Here are 5 handy tips from our in-the-know friends at WineMarket to take you from wine novice to wine expert. 

Here are WineMarket's five golden rules to follow to sound like a wine pro':

1. Talk about varietal character

It's tempting to unleash your inner poet in these moments but really, colourful language and adjectives you don't even know the meaning of says little about your appreciation of the wine. There's almost infinite variety in the way wines can smell, but there are some genuine descriptors to put in your stable. If you're sniffing a Cabernet and find blackcurrants and mint, or a Shiraz packed with plums and pepper, or a zesty Riesling brimming with the aroma of fresh limes, rein in those long-winded, let-me-paint-you-a-picture descriptions and go with something short, sharp and effective: 'This is a wine of great varietal character'. 

2. Judge the wine by how it feels

The term mouth-feel may sound like wanky mumbo-jumbo but it's got some logic. Great wine is about balance (and how it feels in your mouth) and there few key things that go in to making a wine that walks the line: oaking, the tannins, and acidity. Is the wine well blended and balanced? Or does one of the aforementioned elements reach out of the glass and slap you in the face? Don't stand for that, fight back by sharing your feeling. If it ticks all the boxes, then the phrase 'beautifully balanced' along with a knowing nod will do the trick.

3. Preface everything with 'To me this wine is...'

Assessing wine is all pretty subjective anyway and you've got an opinion, don't you? Shout it from the rooftop, expert!

4. Learn to spit like a pro'

Obviously, you don't want to put good wine to waste, but there are people to impress remember? Knowing how to swirl and then spit like you do it every day will win you friends quick in the wino world. First step is, of course, making sure that you have a spittoon, because wine down your clothes is not the look you should be going for. Commit to the spit with confidence and you'll be everybody's new pal! Hot tip: practice in the shower to perfect your technique!

5. Trust your sweet tooth

It's not completely fool-proof but trusting those instincts brought on by nostalgic memories of the sugary hey day of your childhood — when sugar was good for you — is a good clue to the origins of your favourite drop. Cherries and chocolate hitting the nose? Mclaren Vale Shiraz is very reminiscent of the tastiest of candy bars, Cherry Ripes. Citrus and tropical flavours on those taste buds? It's most likely a Verdehlo. And if you thought you were going crazy and could taste mint slice in your vino, you're not — it's probably a cabernet from Coonawarra.

Image Credit: WineMarket, Honey & Jam

TUL Note: Today's List Love post is proudly sponsored by WineMarket and endorsed by The Urban List. Our sponsored posts will never be a secret — the List Love seal will be stamped on any sponsored material you see on the site. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible.  

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