It is with great respect to sommeliers and wine experts around the world that our group took on the subject of creating the “common folk” list for describing wines.
Just Google “wine descriptors” and you find 393,000 results in 0.32 seconds, they include how to articles, infographics, posters, charts, Wikipedia, descriptors for dummies, and obviously many, many more. Just videos you find 50,600 and there are lots of photographs too.
On a Friday night, after a long work week, we each brought a bottle of wine ($10 to $60) an made notes of terms we would use to describe them. At the end of the evening we each handed in our notes (some more legible than others, many with red wine stains) and agreed we would get back together to discuss. Remember, we are just a group of common folk that enjoy getting together to learn about wine and other libations.
The Common Folk Wine Descriptors List (in no particular order)
Red, White, Rosé, Bubbly (yes, we did have some champagne)
Buttery: creamy, oily, smooth
Robust: best with food, feels heavy
Smooth: a pleasant experience from beginning to end
Jammy: like jelly
Fruity: peaches, apples, citrus, you know it is some fruit but not really sure what
Light: refreshing (in this case applied to a white wine)
Bold: from the first sip, wham, it hits you hard
Complex: lots going on, can’t really pinpoint a unique quality
Elegant: simliar to smooth
Juicy: very light red wine, almost like grape juice
And of course: Like, Don’t Like
I must admit, our list does not appear to be very profound or sophisticated compared to the more official lists. Well, we’ll just have to keep tasting and studying to become more proficient. In the meantime, just knowing what we like is a good start.