Creative Juices Wine Blog

Vino 100

Posted in wine by CreativeJuicesWine on March 8, 2010

My hubby knows that I can be a stickler to details, and that the issues I am horridly passionate about are, fortunately, far and between. One of those issues is wine.

I am intrigued by everything about it. I want to understand it to the fullest, I want to appreciate it to the best of my ability. But just above all, I want to know how to establish a common language about it. All too frequently I find myself in a situation where I know I am not getting my point across, and I see a blank expression on whomever I am talking to. Often this point of confusion arises from the understanding of what a “dry wine” means.

I run into this following issue all the time: I ask someone about what they like and they go on to tell me they don’t like something too dry. I offer them an off-dry wine, which they are ecstatic over. Throughout the evening, I work them down to dry reds, and to my surprise, they continue to exclaim enthusiastically: “Oh, I really like this! It is smooth, not too dry, and very, very nice”.

In all of my formal wine schooling I have been taught that dry is simply an antonym for sweet. Fruity is a antonym for lacking in fruit flavors. Sweet is something that contains residual sugar.

Today I came across a following website. It belongs to a wine shop chain based out of California, with just under 30 locations in the continental US. What caught my eye was their shelf talker theme:

Each of their wines has a similar display. I find it very interesting for several reasons:

1. I think these guys have a terrific business sense. They have figured out which terminology is appealing to a beginner drinker, and they are running with it.

2. They found a simple visual way for a wine consumer to navigate the shelves without having a prior attachment to a label, a varietal or a region.

3. They combine these to grasp the many people who seek great wine and a little wine knowledge.

My question, however, is the following: Does it seem to you guys that this company is perpetuating the existing miscommunication in the wine language?

Thank you for reading and I am excited to see what you guys think.



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