Do you enjoy wine, but have no desire to learn that much about it? Or perhaps you just want to have a non-embarrassing conversation with the sommelier. Follow these 10 steps to go from wine ignoramus to obnoxious wine jerk in just minutes.
1. Know that wine grapes are masters of disguise.
When wine people say a Syrah smells like bacon, does it mean that the winemaker steeped it with smoked pork? It does not. Grapes contain compounds that turn into complex flavors during the winemaking process, and that’s why a predominately one-ingredient product can smell like black pepper or honey or wet dirt. Wine is crazy.
2. Understand how wine names work.
All wines are made from grapes, but only some of them are named for those grapes (like Syrah, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, for example). Most others—like Bordeaux, Rioja and Chianti, are named for the places they come from. If you know this, you are ahead of the game.