Gourmet (South Africa) - - HOW TO DRINK -


A sen­sa­tion of fresh­ness and crisp­ness (as op­posed to rich­ness). A few years ago, if you said ‘acid’ at the ta­ble, ev­ery­one thought the wine was go­ing to be sour. Now peo­ple think it’ll be a min­er­ally high-acid white, like a Ries­ling, as op­posed to an oaky Chardon­nay. OXIDISED Once con­sid­ered a flaw, ex­po­sure to oxy­gen can some­times change wine for the bet­ter, creat­ing an invit­ingly toasty, hazel­nutty aroma. Old Chenin Blanc al­ways tastes like cook­ies, the French vanilla ones. In old Bur­gundies, it’s more al­mondy. BARNYARD

It’s when your red wine tastes funky. A lot of wines from France’s trendy Jura re­gion have this char­ac­ter­is­tic. We hate to com­pare the smell to ma­nure, but it can be a lit­tle bit like a sta­ble. Or rust. It’s iron-y, like blood. That com­bi­na­tion of sharp­ness and damp-soil smell. But tasty. If you need a 94-minute crash course on how to taste and ap­pre­ci­ate wine, queue up Somm, the sur­pris­ingly in­tense 2012 doc­u­men­tary about a group of wine ob­ses­sives cram­ming for their Mas­ter Som­me­lier exam. You’ll cringe at their fails along the way, but you’ll also learn as they learn. When it’s over, start buy­ing wine on Verve, the new e-com­merce site from Somm star Dustin Wil­son. From then on, you’re no longer a heavy drinker – you’re a ‘se­ri­ous taster’.

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