winespeak is a big concern of mine.
i find that most wine descriptions by wine pros are actually confusing to the uninitiated (and to quite a few initiated as well) and, let's face it, most of us wine lovers of the world are uninitiated to winespeak. we know what we like in a wine, it is just that most of the time, we find that descriptions of gooseberries, pineapples, peach, and cat wee wee does not correspond to our experience of that particular white wine.
the challenge with wine tasting is that it's such a subjective experience that it is very difficult to pinpoint precisely what a wine taste like. that's the beauty of it some will say. then, i ask, why do some wine magazines and reviewers seem to think that they are the ultimate authority in wine taste? and why are most wine lovers shy to express what they taste in a glass when we ask them?
what is not so subjective however is how a wine feels on the palate and how long it lasts after we swallow (or spit, if you have a wife to meet after your tasting...).
and so, last saturday, i went to a very interesting tasting at iwc. given in a smooth and informal manner on a saturday afternoon, simon tam demonstrated to the 10 of us how different wines had different shapes on our palate, depending on their quality and crafting methods.
some wines are big and bold, and, just like a single firework, will crackle and explode in our mouth with maximum sensation but, after a very short time, will quickly disappear leaving us in a kind of anticlimax.
other wines will be like those exciting sequences of fireworks in which, pang, pang pang, the explosions will follow each other at different intervals, giving us multiple, but disjointed sensations, and yet leaving us excited but longing for more so sudden it finishes on the palate.
some, will even tease and surprise us. they will disappear on the after-taste to gently, but firmly come back with all kinds of new sensations.
the best however, will not be like fireworks at all. they will slowly make themselves felt, gently caressing our palate and evolve with complexity and character. they will last long and even develop new sensations well after we have swallowed. more like a musical symphony, gently threading a perfect harmony of musical notes, exciting our senses and imagination well after the performance so that we will continue to hum it's melody in our mind for the whole day.
the shapes of wine. the feeling of tasting. short and powerful does not necessarily equals to quality. long, complex, and intricate however, is another thing altogether.
a nice and different perspective. shape rather than specific tastes.