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How to Describe Wine - Part 1 of 2

how to montana rae podcast wine tasting Jan 25, 2022

“What makes a wine descriptor descriptive? What makes it an identifying characteristic and how do we talk about it?”

If you’re someone who likes wine but struggles to put into words what you like specifically, this week’s content was created for you! As always, we’re starting with the basics. It’s easy to get turned off or intimidated by the way some people talk about wine. There can be a lot of romance in the approach and for some, it just doesn’t resonate. The Wine Ship content is designed to help you feel invited to the experience of learning about wine rather than like an outsider.

By “basics”, I mean the foundation, a.k.a., the structure of the wines you’re tasting. Together, we’re building layers of understanding so you can graduate to the creative, fun stuff next week in Episode 008: How to Describe Wine - Part 2.

“People often confuse a fruity wine for being sweet because they don’t have a clear understanding of a wine’s structure. Things like Old World versus New World, climate, or how to systematically taste.”

In Fundamentals of Wine: Climate, Terroir, and Structure, we introduced the components of structure. Today, we’re applying them. The goal is to arm you with the tools necessary to help you make independent wine selections and consistently choose things that you’ll love. The only way to do it is to know what you love and why.

To practice this, refer to How to Taste Wine and think about the qualities of each wine you taste with this week’s new concepts in mind. Focus on identifying the structural components you prefer in wine. Look for patterns and consistency but know that you are an ever-changing, evolving human and you don’t have to be committed or limited to just one style. Write down your impressions and don’t worry about whether you’re doing it “right” or “wrong”. There isn’t a one size fits all solution.

Next week, we’ll tie it all together for a trifecta or information I hope grows with you for years to come. You’ll be armed with the vocabulary and understanding to share your wine journey with others both personally and professionally. With this understanding of WHY you like a wine, your path to amazing new tasting experiences is endless.

Thanks for being here! As always, I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback! Drop your comments below or reach out on Instagram or via email.

Cheers! - Montana

Highlights from this Episode:
  • Where do flavors in wine come from?
  • Grape variety
  • Terroir
  • Winemaking
  • Age - can change the way a wine shows. If it’s meant to be drunk super young

 Recap of the Components of Structure:

  • Body
  • Acid
  • Alcohol
  • Sweetness
  • Tannin
  • Finish

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