Objectivity In Wine?

Jul 11 2011 @ 6:30pm

by Zoë Pollock

I know this borders on a Poseur Alert, but I kind of love the idea of applying a hard-nosed logic to wine tasting:

Where metaphors are used to describe wine, they will be true or appropriate either if they can be fully paraphrased in terms of non-metaphorical physical attributes of the wine, or if they are at least grounded in certain conventions that are commonly understood, accepted and used amongst the experts whose agreement in part supports and constitutes the convention. ‘Flabby’, for example, is primarily used to describe wines that are lacking in the acidity necessary to give them sufficient balance and body. If someone were to judge a Rheingau Riesling that was in fact high in acidity as flabby or flat, or a young and powerfully concentrated and tannic Hermitage as feminine or delicate, they would be straightforwardly wrong, either in virtue of misperceiving the properties of the wine or misusing the vocabulary.