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.
Special Offer for Urban Listers
So you can get off on the right foot and practice what you preach, so to speak, WineMarket are offering Urban Listers $50 off any wine purchase when you spend a minimum of $120! Just use the code URBANSYD at checkout. (Hurry! Offer expires on the 14th June 2014. Excludes beer, champagne & RTDs)
Now bring on the wine dinners!
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