The Seven Essential Wine Words
Matt Kramer has been reviewing and writing about wine since 1976 and is noted for his creative insights into wine and its appreciation. He argues that the language used to describe wine is an important feature of its appreciation and plays a role in how we decide which wine is better than another. Kramer believes that much of the current wine language is overblown, pushes wine producers towards wines that get review points that often loose depth, gets in the way of wine appreciation and even turns some people off from the appreciation and enjoyment of wine. He makes his case in an essay on the myths of modern wine tasting, takes some shots at scientific wine tasting, and his is persuasive. Kramer narrows the terminology down to seven terms: insight, harmony, texture, layers, finesse, suprise and nuance. He defines insight as the combination of experience, thought and synthesis and he is looking for situations where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - insight is what we should really know about wine. Harmony is how well everything fits together. An appreciation of texture helps us find the wine's depth and its potential. Layers reveal a wines complexity and help us see how a wine can suprise us. A wine with finesse allows us to enjoy it effortlessly without having to look for the quality in the wine that make it great. Kramer argues that a wine tells a story - or it should - and a great wine suprises us as its story unfolds. A wine with nuance takes time to enjoy and to get past the surface and find its inner depth. This is a short, easy to read book but it makes a lot of important points and they apply to the enjoyment of beer and food as well as wine. Kramer's point is to enjoy our food and drink and not let our language get in the way of it.