Good To Know
Varietal - describes wines made primarily from a single named grape variety. In the USA according to the Feds, a wine must contain at least 75% of the labeled grape to describe the varietal. However, in France most regions have no variety listed at all. They feel that the terroir surpasses the impact of variety. What do you think?
Terroir - Used to denote the special characteristics that geography gives to wine. Long used in France and now used more and more at wine tastings to impress others.
Finish – The lingering flavor of a wine once it is swallowed. This is about the only absolute in the world of wine. The longer the finish, the better the wine, just like in …, oph, forget I added that. For whatever reason only great wines have a finish and really surperb wines have even a longer finish.
Punt - Not only a football term, it is that dimple at the bottom of a wine bottle. Also knows as a kick-up. Used to be that the larger the punts the better the wine. Still true? You tell us…
Shape- Long ago French winemakers developed different bottle shapes for various grape varieties and for the most part, most winerys continue to follow suit.
Tall and Tapered – Mostly for Alsace, Mosel and Rhine varieties; think German wines
Sloping Shoulders – these tend to be the preferred bottles for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Long, Straight Sides and Pronouced Shoulders – Most ofter associated with grape varieties from Bordeaux – calernet, merlot, malbec and zinfandel, sangiovese and shiraz/syrah.
SIZE does matter!!!!
Okay, here we go. If someone wants to thank you by offering a bottle of wine, we recommend that you study and remember this list. Like, fine, thanks for the offer. I really would like anything that comes in a Nebuchadnezzar….
Split, Piccolo, Snipe or Quarter Bottle – 187 ml or 1/4 of a bottle
Half-bottle, Demi or Split – 375 ml or 1/2 of a bottle
Bottle or Standard – 750 ml or 75% of a liter. The standard wine bottle size.
Magnum – Now we are starting to talk! – 1.5 liters or 2 standard bottles of wine
Jeroboam or Double Magnum – 3 liters or 4 bottles of wine for a dinner party of six moderate wine drinkers
Rehoboam – 4.5 liters or 6 standard bottles of wine for 6 wine festivites
Methuselah or Imperial – 6 liters, 4 magnums or 8 bottles of wine or enough for 4 experienced wine couples
Salmanazar – 9 liters or 12 bottles of wine (one case of standard bottles) Good for a small party
Balthazar – 12 liters or 16 bottles of wine. Now you know, this baby was named after one of the Wise Men!
Nebuchadnezzar – Party time! 15 liters or 20 bottles of wine. Think of a wedding rehearsal dinner.
Melchior – 18 liters or 24 bottles of wine (two cases) and this one named after another of the Wise Men!
Solomon – 20 liters or 28 bottles (but only of champagne) Good for either a wedding or divorce party!!!
Gaspar – Any container that holds your good wine when you know you are going someplace that has NO WINE or poor quality wine (the movies, most Mexican restaurants, pop Warner football game, tee-ball. etc.) We like those biker water bottles, but hate sipping wine from a nipple! We invented this one cause it makes sense that the third wise man gets his own bottle size.
WineFestNews wacky and irreverent definitions of wine words and terms…
We are forced to read a great deal about the wine industry and are always amazed when it comes to wine tastings, in particular, that a wine writer is either making this stuff up or maybe having a few too many tastes. So with almost total reverence to ALL of those who must taste wine and give/offer opinions on the merits of a particular wine, here is our take on your take. (After all, should it not suffice that a wine is either great, good or rubbish, in one’s own opinion?) Feel FREE to join in, argue to point or acquiesce in print by writing to us……
Lithe in texture……..when is a wine readily bent in texture? Or marked by effortless grace in texture. Can’t we just say “gentle”
Bright notes of strawberry……….didn’t know straws had notes? Are these high or low notes?
With lean minerality……………as opposed to fat minerality? less calories?
With stone-fruit…..flavors………don’t know if I even want to try something with stone-fruit flavors, do you?
Peppery…….Great term for some wines; however, why has nobody ever used the word salty to describe a wine taste?
Sommelier…..A person who actually gets paid for a killer job and the training isn’t bad either….
We have RP, WS and various other rating systems for wines and are very, very helpful. However, for the newbie just getting their feet and throats wet, may we suggest our own newsletter writer, R U Syrious’ rating system? Is seems to be rather easy to remember and follow
Wine should be rated in three categories ONLY. I call it the 3 G’s. Wine is either: Garbage • Good • Great
May your life be full of a lot of goods, some greats and a few garbage just so you recognize the differences…
Thanks to Folie a Deux Winery here are some very interesting facts about wine:
1 plant = 14.79588 lbs1 barrel = great party size
1 ton = 2,000 lbs
1 lb = 0.075 gallons
1 ton = 150 gallons
1 acre = 4 tons
1 acre = 544 plants
1 plant = 5.566176 bottles
1 bottle = .75 liter (750 ml)
5 bottles = 0.990752 gallons
1 case = 2.377807 gallons
1 gallon = 3.785 liters
1 barrel = 225 liters
1 barrel – 25 cases
1 barrel – 300 bottles
1 barrel = 15 Nebuchadnezzars
Scientists estimate 49 million bubbles in an average champagne bottle
Marilyn Monroe was said to have once bathed in 50 bottles of bubbly
Corks fly from bottles at estimated speeds of 60 miles per hour
I drink champagne when I win, to celebrate…….and I drink champagne when I lose, to console myself….Napoleon Bonaparte
Clinking – To prove that his wine was safe, the host would pour a bit of his guest’s wine into his own glass and drink it first, to prove it was safe. If the guest trusted his host, however, he would merely clink his flagon against that of his host’s when his host offered his cup for the sample. The ‘clink’ was a sign of trust and honesty. Today the clinking noise brings the festive feel; probably the root of the word festival……….
Bubbles – Champagne’s signature bubbles were included by accident! Back in the 1700s, wine was supposed to be flat, like most wine is today. Bubbles were an error in the process and the monk Dom Pérignon worked hard to remove them. Instead, he found methods of blending and clarifying the drink, and soon it was sought after by French aristocracy. The rest, they say, is history! from WineIntro.com