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Wine address

wine speech (GB)
vin discours (F)
discurso vino (ES)
discorso vino (I)
discurso vinho (PO)

Already in the Antiquity there was a language used by wine tasters to describe the Wine quality. About a hundred terms have been found in Greek literature. Of course, there was no general vocabulary, but an assessment was left to the imagination or discretion of the individual. It was only from the beginning of the 18th century that a culture in this area began to develop in the wine scene. French chemist Jean-Antoine Claude Chaptal (1756-1832) already used more than 60 expressions in his work "Art de faire, de gouverner, et de perfectionner les vins", published in 1807. Professor René Pijassou (1922-2007) from the University of Bordeaux collected in his studies on the history of Médoc wines all the terms used by brokers and winery owners at that time (e.g. expressionless, flat, full, full-bodied, aftertaste, robust, round, velvety) and already provided Tasting rules set.

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In the book "Topography de tous les vignobles connus" by the wine merchant André Jullien (1766-1832) there is a list of around 70 technical terms to describe the qualities, deficiencies and diseases of the wines. This is the first time that the term comes into being Tannin and descriptive attributes such as astringent, balsamic, straightforward, annoying, tingly, silky, solid and dry. In the “Dictionaire-Manuel du négoicant en vins et spiritueux et du maître de chai” by Édouard Féret from 1896 there were already 180 terms. The Scottish doctor Dr. Alexander Henderson (1780-1863) is considered to be one of the first wine authors to endeavor to develop a general nomenclature that is also understandable to laypeople. The book “Checking, Knowing and Enjoying Wine” (Wine Tasting) by the English author Michael is considered the standard work Broadbent (1927-2020), which has been published again and again since 1960. About a thousand different terms are used today.

Well-known wine critics: É. Peynaud, R. Parker, J. Robinson, M. Broadbent, H. Johnson

The type of wine description or the vocabulary used also results from the tasting reason. The famous degustator Émile Peynaud (1912-2004) described this in his book "The high school for wine connoisseurs" as follows: "The chemist is primarily looking for the analytical error, the law enforcement officer for the violation of the law, the oenologist for the expansion error, the winemaker for the character and the retailer what the market is looking for ” . With a professional Wine rating is tasted according to defined rules, i.e. its quality and composition are analyzed to the best of our knowledge and belief. This is done in verbal and / or written form according to defined rules or a rating in the form of a points system. The formulated evaluation is called "wine approach", which clearly and comprehensibly reproduces all subjective and, above all, objective and comprehensible impressions regarding color, smell, taste and overall impression.

Classification into description groups

The descriptive adjectives for wine evaluation or wine description can be divided into three groups. The first group of the hedonistic Terms like the positive ones incomparable, fantastic, fabulous, unique, tasty and wonderful are often used in brochures, but are objectively useless because they can be understood as anything and nothing. But that does not mean that a hedonistic assessment - especially in a private environment - has no justification - even if only in the short form "tastes" or "does not taste". Of course, this is unsuitable as helpful information for a consumption or purchase decision. The award of the wines in the Swiss Vaud with the Terravin seal Incidentally, “Lauriers de Platine Terravin” is based on hedonistic criteria. The wines in question were previously objective sensory Criteria already selected as top wines.

The second group such as flowery, fruity and fresh is much more suitable, but it also describes relatively vague and vague and leaves too many interpretations open. Because "fresh", for example, can refer to a high acidity ( Tartaric acid ) on the freshly sparkling carbonic acid or on the temperature of the wine (fresh from the cellar). These terms are therefore only understandable or unambiguous in the context of the description. Only the third group of exact terms of an analytical nature, such as aromas / tones of green grass, Roses, nutmeg, tobacco and vanilla, such as astringent, acidic and longer Finish are also objectively traceable because they are known and verifiable to everyone. They are recognized as equivalent terminology by experts and are generally applicable. This is very helpful for laypeople but also for professionals University of California by chemist Ann C. Noble developed Aroma wheel.


But there is nowhere near an internationally valid nomenclature with clearly defined terms. This already fails because terms in a certain language are often judgmental, i.e. positive or negative. The vocabulary of professional tasters can be quite different. Many terms have the same or similar terms, which illustrates the difficulty of standardization. A good example is massive, for which also broad-shouldered, powerful, muscular or full-bodied can stand. So if there are many similarities within one language, standardization for different languages is almost impossible.

Any deficiencies are also identified in an assessment; these terms are under Wine defects cited. Some of the positive and negative meanings of terms are overlapping. A weak one Horse sweat (on Stinkerl ) for example, does not have to be a wine error, on the contrary, it can even be perceived as pleasant. However, it is a phenomenon that there are more negative than positive terms. One often differentiates between gustatory (Taste), olfactory (Smell) and trigeminal (Sense of touch).

Wine description terms

There are countless terms, of which quite a few are only used in certain countries or languages or only locally. However, the list does not claim to be complete:

from mining to azeotropic

from balsamic to creamy

from delicate to fruity

from garrigue to ginger

from vintage to lind

from powerful to oxidized

from sticky to sweet

from tobacco to the future

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