Wine Tasting Vocabulary
from Sagebrush Annie's

The following terms are those most used to describe wine flavors by wine sophisticates. For the beginning wine drinker it takes much experience to be so discerning. Don't be intimidated if these descriptions are not what you are experiencing. Wine tasting should be an experience of enjoyment; drink what you enjoy and enjoy what you drink. Each of us has a different palate which is in a personal state of evolution. What one enjoys initially can change with experience.

As an example, here are some terms often used to describe Chardonnay. It can have aromas of toasted oak, vanilla, butter, nutmeg, anise, melon, tropical fruit, pear, peach, apricot or citrus. Flavors of Chardonnay may be compared to toasted oak, butter, green apple, clover, nutmeg, vanilla and citrus. Acidity, mouth feel and body and the duration of the finish (flavors that last and change in your mouth after you've swallowed the wine, ) can all affect the flavor of the wine. This writer does not experience many of these aromas and flavors however. Some of these flavors are unfamiliar, particularly 'clover'.

The fruit flavors in red wines are usually compared to black cherries, currants, raspberries, blueberries and plums. Occasionally one will hear such terms as coffee, chocolate or lemon influence used to describe the subtleties of flavors influencing the wine. Some palates may discern acidity, tannin or oak as influencing factors which may or may not be, pleasant to the taster.

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