Wine Terms For the Scared


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For whatever reason, wine has become a drink that some people fear. Some people are simply too scared to approach it, looking at a bottle the same way they used to look at the popular girl or boy they had a crush on in high school. No one is really sure when wine got this reputation, but it did: wine is the most intimidating of alcohol.

Yet, this notion seems absurd: should wine really be that scary? It is, after all, just a drink; people should be able to outwit even the most cunning of vintages simply by knocking over the bottle and watching the contents spill out over the floor. Wine should be more scared of us than we are of it.

But, it’s not the wine’s fault we are scared. Instead, it’s the fault of the people who take wine so seriously, looking down on others who don’t agree with their “impeccable" taste or laughing to themselves whenever someone butchers the words “Pinot Noir" while ordering at a restaurant. It is these people who are to blame: they stomped on grapes until the fun oozed out.

In defiance to these types of wine drinkers - the ones who always make sure they hold their wine glass with their pinky at an exact 90 degree angle - the following is a list of wine terms that are explained without pomp. If you look carefully enough, you might even find something fun.

Bitter: A wine that is sour or tart; a wine that can‘t get over a failed relationship.

Breed: The end result of grapes, soil, and viniculture techniques; what wines do with each other when they’ve had too much to drink.

Chewy: A wine that is thick in texture; a wine that is a fan of the Star Wars movies.

Deep: A wine that is layered with flavors; a wine that wears heavy eyeliner and possesses an affinity for gothic clothing.

Delicate: A wine that is light and introverted; a wine whose feelings you’ll hurt if you don’t order it.

Dry: A wine that is not sweet; a wine with a sarcastic sense of humor.

Forward: A wine that has matured or ripened ahead of other grapes; a wine that is not afraid to ask you out.

Full-bodied: A wine that is heavy, full of big flavor and high alcohol; a wine that shops at Lane Bryant.

Hybrid: A grape resulting from a cross between two different varieties; a wine that gets good gas mileage.

Muscular: a wine that is robust, and powerful; a wine with a membership to 24 Hour.

Nutty: A wine that contains a nutlike odor; a wine that thinks it’s a beer.

Perfumed: A wine that is aromatic and odorous; a wine that sampled the fragrances while shopping at the mall.

Pruney: A wine that is made from an overripe grape; a wine with regular bowel movements.

Rich: A wine that is weighty and thick; a wine that people date for its money.

Tannin: A natural component found in red wines that creates a puckering and dry sensation; a wine that is laying out at the pool.

Vegetal: A wine that tastes grassy or leafy; a wine that refuses to eat meat.

Volatile: A wine with an acidic odor; an angry wine that will stab you with one of those small plastic swords bartenders put in mixed drinks.

Jennifer Jordan is the senior editor at With a vast knowledge of wine etiquette, she writes articles on everything from how to hold a glass of wine to how to hold your hair back after too many glasses. Ultimately, she writes her articles with the intention that readers will remember wine is fun and each glass of anything fun should always be savored.


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