Red wine

Snobby Wine Terms Explained (Episode 129)

This video was conceived from a question from Herya Wang who asked for a better explanation of the term earthy.

So we decided to go through some of the terms used by wine tasters to express what they are tasting, sometimes these terms can seem pretentious and snobby but they are in many ways the go to explain what your taste buds are going through.



We have listed some bullet points below to assist while watching this video.

Our Top Ten Phrases

Dusty / Earthy
Example – Tempranillo
Summertime when it has not rained for some time and you walk through a dust cloud.
Or smell when repotting a plant
However, remember it is just a component and when combined with fruit does not taste horrible


When at a waterfall it also smells of the rocks,
An example can be Champagne and Chablis as the chalk subsoil these grapes normally grow in gives a minerality to white wine.


Near a barn or somewhere where there are animals or animal smell
Example Pinot Noir

Tannin and Acidic can sometimes be confused

Normally Acidic taste will come from under your tongue whilst the Tannins will be experienced from your cheek area


Eating bran flakes without milk – your mouth feels very, very dry

Imagine eating a citrus fruit like a lemon which makes your mouth and sometimes your eyes water.

Finish / length

After you have finished swallowing the wine how your mouth feels and what taste is left and for how long. Acidic wines tend to just clean the palette whilst a wine with length can sometimes be felt for many minutes afterwards

Bouquet or Nose

The small or aroma the wine gives off

Wine is Tight

Needs time to breathe before the full taste of the wine can be experienced.

One should open the bottle for a while before drinking or even decant.

Some old wines sometimes can be described like this and it is almost as if they need time to recompose themselves


If we say wine is made up of:-
Acidity or sweetness
Non Fruit flavours

Then balance is when none of these components overpowers any of the others

Let us know your thoughts on snobby wine terms and whether there are any we have missed.

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