by Stephen Reiss, Ph.D., C.W.E.
For some people, talking about wine brings them pleasure. For others, tasting wine is its own reward. Most of us either know someone that seems to be able to talk forever about a wine, or at least have seen such a character in the movies or on television. Many of these people seem to know what they are talking about, too many more do not. It is easy to be intimidated by the blend of poetry and technical mumbo jumbo that seems to surround the language of wine. It need not be.
We talk about wine because we want to communicate our experience with someone. We use special words, because every day speech seems ill equipped to convey the nuance of something as personal as what you taste in a wine, and how you feel about it. Some wines can inspire us to speak volumes, and others can be summed up in a few words.
The following pages will walk you through the basics of wine tasting. Sit back with a glass of wine, read and enjoy!