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Wine Wisdoms #51: Get To Know Your Wine Slang

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 2:44:49 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies


When speaking about wine, formality sometimes goes out the door when you want to get right to the point. In these times, wine slang comes in handy. But if you can’t “talk the talk”, you’ll simply get lost when a knowledgeable oenophile starts throwing in foreign expressions. Maybe you’re familiar with common, proper phrases used to describe wine like body, mouthfeel, length and finish. But there are plenty of other wacky words that winos are well-versed in. These are just a few:

Plonk- Bad wine

Quaff- To drink, often used as the adjective “quaffable” to describe a basic, everyday, wine.

Cat Pee- A specific aroma, often found in Sauvignon Blanc. This means exactly as it sounds, though no actual cat pee is used to make the wine ;)

Hot- A wine with a high level of alcohol to the point of tasting out-of-balance.

Tight- An adjective used to describe a wine that needs time to open up or for the tannins to soften. Air or proper aging can help a tight wine.

ABC- Anything But Chardonnay/Anything But Cabernet, used to focus on other varietals.

Claret- an English phrase for a Bordeaux-style wine

QPR- Quality/Price ratio or a wine’s quality as compared to its price. A wine with a good QPR is a good value.

Entry-level Wine- A basic wine, often used to a describe the least expensive wine in a brand’s portfolio.

Clunker- A bad wine

Flabby- A wine that lacks a component such as acidity or tannin to bring it structure. Tastes overly soft and out-of-balance as a result.

Green- A wine that has a vegetal quality usually stemming from under-ripe grapes.

Muscular- A wine with a lot of body and typically strong tannin.

Cork dork- An extreme wine hobbyist. Usually has a high level of wine knowledge.

Are there other wine slang terms you are familiar with? Leave a comment and let us know!

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4 Responses to “Wine Wisdoms #51: Get To Know Your Wine Slang”

  1. Greetings, Winston,

    Please pass along to Erica ;^)

    Thought you might like to know that I’ve given Toast of The Town a plug on Wine-blog today.

    I’m honored to be on your list of blogs, BTW. Best to you, and see you on April 22 in SF!

  2. [...] Comment! From Winston’s Wisdoms [...]

  3. Plonk. This British term does not mean bad wine. It simply means cheap wine, and as such, its quality isn’t guranteed!

  4. [...] by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies This entry was posted in Events by admin. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

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