A few months ago, we looked at some plain language descriptions of snobby wine terms you may hear from reviewers or enthusiasts. Let’s take another look at some rarer — but equally opaque and difficult to understand — terms you may read on a wine list in a fancy restaurant.
Photo by peddhapati
The folks at America’s Test Kitchen put together a great list of somewhat snootier but also descriptive wine language. Terms like “glou-glou” and “noble rot” are all working their way into common wine vernacular. If you have no idea what they mean, you may wind up paying for something you didn’t want. For those two terms, here’s the rundown:
is jaunty French slang for simple, fruity wine that’s so delightful to drink that you scarcely give a thought to anything but the pleasure it gives. I think of glou-glou (pronounce it “glue-glue”) as red wine, although the distinction is hardly an important one. The term is pretty current in English-speaking wine circles now, thanks in part to the influence of the late Joe Dressner, whose delight in lighter-bodied, high-acid, naturally made wine gave a distinct twist to the importer’s portfolio.
NOBLE ROT is a benevolent, fuzzy, grey fungus that attacks grapes late in the season under conditions that favour its appearance. Rare in the drier climes of the Mediterranean, it is common — but never perfectly reliable — in the vineyards of the French southwest, Alsace, the central Loire Valley, the Mâconnais, and parts of Germany and Hungary. Cool, drizzly mornings and warm, sunny afternoons encourage its growth.
The fungus shrivels and dehydrates grapes, concentrating their sugars. Berries blessed by the noble rot may make luscious dessert-level wines, such as Sauternes and Tokaji, or the rot may merely add a complex honeyed note to ordinary-strength cuvées.
Hit the link below for a few more phrases, and what they really mean.
Wine Tasting Notes: A Game of Lingovino [America’s Test Kitchen]