Top 10 most irritating wine terms

7th August, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

The wine world offers a rich tapestry of styles and personalities to excite the most jaded gastronome. However, as a random sample of tasting notes or back labels will show, the vocabulary used to describe this remarkable spectrum can be remarkably ineffectual and at times downright irritating.

dictionaryThis isn’t an attempt to tackle the ever-growing fruit salad of tasting note ingredients. Instead, the drinks business has picked out a number of common words – many of them perfectly valid terms in their own right – whose meaning is undermined by misuse or simply overuse within the wine trade.

Read on for our selection of the top 10 annoying wine terms and let us know if we’ve missed any – or if you disagree.

5 Responses to “Top 10 most irritating wine terms”

  1. Richard says:

    If you check Merriam-Webster dictionary, you will find that varietal is both an adjective and a noun but it is annoying.

  2. Brian says:

    Artisan
    Natural
    Minimal Intervention
    Autochthonous

  3. John Hancock says:

    What about mineral or minerality. Eeeeeeek!!
    Nobody has the faintest idea what it means, but everybody uses it, especially when they can’t think of another descriptor.

  4. Kent Benson says:

    Varietal is without rival in the competition for the most misused word in the wine world. It also takes “Most Irritating” in my book. The only time it works as a noun is when used as a shorthand for “varietal wine”, where it is really employed as an adjective. It’s much like calling a musical play a musical. This use signifies a varietal (single grape) wine as opposed to a blend. Outside of the singular usage, varietal is never a noun. When talking about different grapes, varietal is not an informed way to say variety, just say variety.

  5. Andres says:

    John, minerality is a tough one to grasp if you drink a lot of new world wines. A lot of whites from the old world give of smells of chalk, slate, limestone, wet rock. I didn’t really pick these out until I started actually crushing up limestone and breaking a chuck of slate up and smelling them in a cup. If you are into wine, I would recommend trying it and then tasting a variety of European white wines. The vines will definitely show the soil type that they are grown in.

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