ms Rotterdam

Wine Tasting

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Craig Oakes conducts a wine tasting
Below, we will share with you some of what we learned from him.
So, What do those descriptions mean?
Here they are.
Ripe apples describes a full, fruity, clean smell associated with some styles of Chardonnay wine. Fresh apples does the same for some types of Rielsing.

Equates with the ripe, sweet, fruity quality of blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, and cherries.

Aroma component often found in fine red wines

Describes aroma and flavor reminiscent of citrus fruits.

Refers to silk-like taste component of wines as opposed to the tart/crisp taste. Almost a synonym for buttery, Opposite of crisp.

Suggests the aroma or taste, usually aroma, of flowers in wine. Few red wines fave floral aromas.

Slightly vegetal-tasting undertone, often part of the overall character of Sauvignon Blanc and certain other grape varities.

Word most often encountered in descriptions of California Zinfandel wines made with Amador County grapes. Refers to the natural berrylike taste of this grape.

Descriptive of a somewhat white wine. These wines contain flavors reminiscent of that fruit.

The taste or aroma of freshly sawn oak. A wine, especially a red, is considered as correctly oaked when the nose carries a bare whiff of vanilla aroma. Other components encountered include toasty, charred, or roasted elements. The three others derive from heating the broad iron rings which hold the barrel staves in place after contraction/and the flaming of the interior.

Term almost solely applied to spicy wines, such as Gewurztraminer among the whites, or the red Rhone Syrah and Australian Shiraz wines. Is a component which can almost be described as pungent in quality, being reminiscent of anise, cinnamon, etc.

Overripe, sun-dried grapes can induce an undesirable pungent quality into table wines; sometimes compared to the taste of dried prunes.

Some use the word in the same sense as the smell/flavor that separates smoked (anything) from ordinary (anything). Refers to aroma contributed by the charred oak wood in barrels. It can have a variety of impressions — eg: such as the remains of a burnt-out fire. Needs a variant, such as wood-smoke or barbecue smoke, or sooty to fully convey the meaning.

Almost a synonym for oaky. However, implies an overstay in a wooden container which resulted in the absorption of other wood flavors besides oak.

Descriptive term for wines of markedly flowery, spicy, or grapy character.

Describes the taste sensation found in better white wines, particularly Chardonnay.

Near synonym for tobacco aroma detected in the nose, especially if a cedar wood component is present. Spanish cedar wood is the traditional material for making cigar boxes.

Wine has unpleasant wet cardboard taste/smell. Reason is thought to be chemical changes in the wine caused by inadequately sterilized cork stopper inserted at bottling source

Wine has definite but pleasing tartness, acidity. Generally used to describe white wines only.

A fruity wine has an appley, berrylike, or herbaceous character. Fruitiness usually incorporates the detection of a little extra sweetness as is found in really frest grapes or berries.

Wines that have a taste or aroma of honey

Somewhat analogous to vegetal. Desirable in minute detectable amounts, if adding to notes of complexity in the wine.

How long the total flavor lasts in the back of the throat after swallowing. Counted in seconds, known as caudilie. Ten seconds is good, fifteen is great, twenty is excellent, and fifty is superb.

Describes the vaguely fat, slippery sensation on the palate in contact with the combination of high glycerin and slightly low acid dontent. Mostly encountered in high quality Chardonnays and late harvest sweet wines.

Synonym for floral. Implies also a degree of extra residual sugar.

Mildly rich flavor due to excessive heat in the growing area which dries out grapes still on the vine. Considered a fault in most dry table wines.

Almost a synonym for peppery. Implies a softer, more rounded flavor nuance however.

Other, similar descriptors are caramel and toffee. Some also add spicy flavors, such as cinnamon or cloves.

Descriptive term, used by some, to describe a flavor component resembling the taste of raw tobacco leaf in the finish of certain red wines. Seems to mainly apply to Cabernet Sauvignons from Bordeaux, France or the Napa region of California. Cigar box is a common term often used as a near synonym especially if a cedar-wood note in the aroma is detected. ( Non-smokers may have trouble with this word and its implication.)

If you are hosting a dinner with a different wine for each course, here's a chart to help you.

Wines Associated With Each Region
Alsace:           Gewurztraminer, Reisling, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, small amount of Pinot Noir

Burgaundy: Chablis, Cote de Nuitts, Cote de Beaune, Maconnaise, Cote Chalonnaise, Pinot Noir

Beaujolais: Moulin a Vent, Fleurie, Brouilly, St Amour, Julienas

Rhone Valley: Cote du Rhone, Chateauneuf du pape, Crozes Hermitage, St Joseph

Bordeaux: Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaux, Haut-Medoc, Graves, Pemerol, St-Emillion, St-Estéphe, St-Julien, Syrah/Shiraz, Pauillac, Sauternes

Appellation 1855 — ler Cru
Chateau Margaux, Chateau Laffite-Rothschild, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Haut-Brion

Loire Valley: Pouilly Fumé, Sancerre, Vouvray, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet de Sévre-et — Maine

French law controls just about everything about their wines. The Names on the Labels are very tightly controlled. They even dictate when the farmers may and may not water the vines!

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Page last updated May 12, 2005.