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Gourmet (South Africa) - - HOW TO DRINK -

White gar­de­nias, lemon zest, yuzu – it’s po­etic. But one man’s yuzu is an­other man’s tan­gelo, so ground con­ver­sa­tions in con­crete terms, like the fol­low­ing wine-world words that are fast be­com­ing at home in the din­ing room.


A wine can have ox­ida­tive prop­er­ties for one of two rea­sons: ei­ther there was de­lib­er­ate oxy­gen ex­po­sure dur­ing wine-mak­ing – a trendy prac­tice – giv­ing the end prod­uct a slight nutty taste, or un­con­trolled amounts of oxy­gen got in, and the nut­ti­ness is over­whelm­ing.


If a wine is re­duc­tive, that means so lit­tle oxy­gen got in dur­ing wine-mak­ing that there’s a burnt-match aroma (more of an is­sue now be­cause screw tops let in less oxy­gen than corks do). De­cant­ing helps it ‘blow off’.


In wines that dis­play volatile acid­ity, low lev­els of acetic acid (the same as in vine­gar) en­hance their fruity char­ac­ter­is­tics.


Bret­tanomyces is a yeast that can get into wine in older (read: dirt­ier) cel­lars. It cre­ates an earthy aroma that’s more ac­cepted to­day be­cause craft-beer brew­ers use it.

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