The perfect word for wine tasting?
Uttered when you trip up and spill a big glass of red wine down your front. Or when you take a bottle of 1996 Chateau Lascombe to party by accident. Or when you get home late mid-week, fancy a glass of red, and, thinking the label looks cute, open a bottle of 2009 Molly Dooker, The Scooter (a brain-foggingly 17% alcohol). Or when, when you are helping at a book signing, someone mistakes you for Oz Clarke’s wife – eek! Sadly all true.
How and why to slurp
The best way the word oops fits with wine….it’s exactly the sound when you sip some wine and try to take in a bit of oxygen at the same time. Go on try it….
Pour yourself a wine glass of anything you’d like to taste right now. Give it a swirl. I find it easiest to keep the bottom of the glass on the table, hold the stem and make big circles with it. If I swirl mid-air it can slop around alarmingly! Raise the glass, stick your nose right in and sniff, then get down to some tasting.
The rationale for slurping a bit of air with your wine is that it helps to draw some of the vapour up the retro-nasal passage. This is the airway that connects the nose and the mouth and also home to a small patch of nerve endings. The olfactory epithelium helps us to identify thousands of aromas and explains why you can’t taste very well when you have a cold.
On your marks, ready for tasting….
Could this be the perfect onomatopoeic word for wine tasting?
I have a horror of acronyms; those series of capital letters and full stops representing some body, committee or ruling. They trip off the tongue of those in the know leaving those who don’t totally bewildered. When I joined a large department of a bank, it was as though everyone was speaking a foreign language. Even now I get my CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) mixed up with my CMSs (Content Management System). What could OOPS stand for in the wine world?
Over Oaked and Partially Sipped; Ordinary Oenologists Prefer Syrah: Once Opened Pouring Sensible; Suggestions on a postcard (or in the comments).
O is for Oenology
…the study and science of wine. It also helps to round up a few wine things on my mind recently:
OAK– Jamie Goode published a wine manifesto this week and has a lot to say about oak which highlights the wine world’s reliance on barrel ageing (or in some cases adding oak chips or oak essence). Take points 18 and 24:
No new clothesIf you hate overripeness and obvious new oak (as you should), take care lest you end up praising a wine for the mere absence of these faults. It happens.
Escape the small oak rutToo many winegrowers are obsessed by small oak. Small oak – barrels and barriques – doesn’t suit all that many wines. But it seems the default vessel of élevage. It’s a mistake.
Read the full manifesto here.
OSBORN – One day I might find adequate words to describe a wine dinner with Chester Osborn in May of this year. Barking mad springs to mind (in a nice way), he’s a bit of a wild man of wine and his personality probably divides people, as does his wine. We
tasted drank a lot that evening including 2010 d’Arenberg Shiraz Vociferate Dipsomaniac Scarce Earth Single Vineyard – try saying that after you’ve drank a glass – which is partly treaded by foot and partly basket-pressed. Yes, I really must write about it, but in the meantime…
PICPOUL – Apparently this grape variety means ‘lip stinger’ in the local dialect but it’s far from astringent, with some creamy notes, dry, fresh and floral. Nice to see the white variety becoming more popular for summer drinking this year in the UK, pushing into the sea of ubiquitous Pinot Grigio and…
SAUVIGNON BLANC – “Cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush”. I read this tasting note somewhere recently and it sums up most SB that I taste. Reminded that it ain’t necessarily so by a Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc the other evening at Rivington Grill which although not a complex wine is crisp and fragrant, grassy and fresh without being rasping.
Oops! is the theme for the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge and like Wine Kat who set it this month, I love words. Words for their own sake, words for their sound, words with the mouthfeel of fine wine, words which have many meanings. Anyone remember Wordy Rappinghood by the Tom Tom Club? It could be my theme music.
Oops! What does this word conjure up for you?
- MWWC#4: My Brush with the Biodynamic* (armchairsommelier.wordpress.com)
- Trick or Treat? Halloween candy and wine (waywardwine.com)
- Wine’s oops moments (talk-a-vino.com)
- “Oops” – Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #4 (thewineraconteur.wordpress.com)
- Oops (foodwineclick.com)
- Desolé, Beaujolais (#MWWC4) (confessionsofawinegeek.com)