Home > Great Wine Ideas, Tips > How To Sound Like a Wine Connoisseur

How To Sound Like a Wine Connoisseur

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Love wine, but don’t know how to talk about it? Adore a bottle of red, but can’t tell a Cab Sauv from a Merlot? A clueless teetotaler eager to impress your wine-tippling superiors at the annual office party? Fret not; you have come to the right blog.

Let’s start with the word ‘connoisseur’. Connoisseur comes from the French word ‘connaitre’ (cone-ethre), meaning ‘to know’. A wine connoisseur therefore is someone who ‘knows’, or is knowledgeable about, wine. Given just how vast oenology (the study of all things related to wine) is, knowing everything there is to know about wine is quite a daunting prospect. What we’re aiming for, of course, is not to know it all—just to know enough to make it sound like you know a lot! This requires knowing at least a little bit about wine, and to use those basic facts to your advantage. Hopefully in the process, you will do more than just impress an audience, and find yourself finally articulating your passion for wine. Here are a few simple tips to help you accomplish this:

Learning the ABCs of Wine
If as the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’, then learning a few key facts about wine and wine appreciation can be tremendously empowering. Read on to find out what these basics are.

Red, white, and blue…sorry, pink. Just how many kinds of wine are there?!
There are as many wines as there are stars in the sky. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but there is a vast array of wines of different colours and flavours, once cultivated in specific regions but now grown across the globe (climate permitting). Here are a few things to remember:

• Wines are distinguished by the type or variety of grape from which they were extracted: so a merlot comes from the merlot grape varietal, while a riesling comes from the rielsling grape. Some of these grapes are named after the region in which they are grown; but this is not true of all grapes. So while Champagne comes from the champagne grape, named after the Champagne valley in France where they were originally cultivated, the same is not true of Cabernet Sauvignons (there is no such ‘place’).
• Wines fall broadly into five categories: reds, whites, rosés, sparkling, and dessert.

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