Top misunderstood wine terms revealed

15th December, 2015 by Luke Terry

A survey has revealed the 10 wine terms that customers are least likely to understand when deciding what wines to buy.


One in four wine drinkers are “intimidated” when shopping for wine, according to the survey (Photo: Wiki)

One in three people don’t know what “tart” means, with one in ten think that a wine is being called cheap or brash.

The same survey revealed that 32% of wine drinkers didn’t realise the word “tart” is used to describe a more acidic wine.

As many as 11% thought it meant a “cheap, brash wine unsuitable for respectable company”.

On top of that, just 23% understood the term “terroir”, and only 20% knew of drinkers knew that a wine “with legs” referred to.

Tom Laithwaite of taste4, which commissioned the survey, said: “The way we drink wine has become more casual, informal and leisurely, but the language wrapped around it hasn’t moved with the times.”

“People want to learn more about wine and discover new tastes without being confused or awkward when buying it or talking about it with their friends.”

Of the 2,000 wine drinkers surveyed, 25% found shopping for new wines an intimidating experience.

Almost half (45%) tend to stick to the same grapes, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay when choosing wines at supermarkets.

The 10 silliest wine terms, and the percentage of customers likely to use them are:

10. Bouquet 21%

9. Nose 11%

8. Tart 10%

7. Quaffable 10%

6. Legs 5%

5. Terroir 3%

4. Unctuous 3%

3. Herbaceous 2%

2. Hollow 2%

1. Vegetal 2%

Taste4, a wine subscription service that delivers four bottles a month to its customers, has banned all these terms from being used on its website.

Mr Laithwaite said: “We won’t put anyone to sleep by talking about terroir or herbaceousness”.


2 Responses to “Top misunderstood wine terms revealed”

  1. Rita Howard says:

    What is the correct terminology if “tart” or “nose” , etc. are not correct?

    • danny says:

      I think it states those terms are simply not going to be understood by the general consumer. …So if you work a retail sales floor and you begin talking about “tart red fruits on the nose of this pinot noir” your customer is lost and afraid to say something.

  2. Theresa says:

    That 4th paragraph, starting with “On top of that” is confusing and doesn’t make sense. Does anyone proof these articles before publishing?

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