The Language Of Wine

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 2 2012 @ 5:57pm

A primer for the novice drinker:

I call our ability to translate taste into words “taste literacy.” We learn visual literacy from a tender age, and as adults can distinguish even subtle gradations in the visual field. If I say “brick red,” “fire engine red,” and “maroon,” you can readily imagine these colors and describe the differences between. But it’s harder with flavors. When I say “apple,” “pear,” and “quince,” do you quickly conjure all these flavors in your mind? What adjectives would you use to describe them? Apple might be reasonably easy, but how would you characterize quince? Now try guava, mango, and papaya.