Like many people on WordPress who consider writing a great hobby, I love words. Oftentimes, a word is so obscure and nuanced in meaning, it is downright beautiful. But there are some words that I have come across in my wine studies that are convoluted in their specificity to the point that they become nothing short of awkward. I’m talking about you ‘organoleptic!’ I would much prefer to consider wine a multi-sensory experience, than an organoleptic one. And do grapes really need to be ‘autochthonous?’ There are way too many unblendable consonant blends in that word for my taste and comfort. I would much rather think of a grape as traditional, native, or indigenous.
‘Acescence’ has a nice ring to it, but wouldn’t it be easier to say, ‘this wine smells like vinegar? ‘Pétillant,’ also, while a very pretty word seems much more opaque than saying, there’s ‘some fizz’ in the wine. Acidity is very clear and useful, but isn’t ‘acidulous’ superfluous?
There are some wine words that have a usefulness far exceeding their specificity. For example, I would much rather drink a Champagne with good ‘autolytic’ character, than one with the aroma of decomposing yeast cells. The sand and clay soil deposits of rivers flow much more smoothly when they are referred to as ‘alluvial.’ And while ‘carbonic maceration’ sounds a little bit dirty, it’s a lot easier to say than, ‘enzymatic fermentation in reductive conditions.’
It is certain that too much description is always better than ‘yucky or yummy,’ when it comes to wine. I am sure, as I continue my wine studies that I will keep learning new, descriptive oenological words. I just hope they’re all wine related.