Paula’s Wines of the Week – Week starting 27 July 2020

Paula’s Wines of the Week – Week starting 27 July 2020

Understanding wine jargon

Understanding the words used on wine labels and in wine reviews is a great advantage to wine buyers looking to avoid that feeling of being overwhelmed in the wine aisle and the cycle of random purchases.

Buying wine can be a little bit of a lottery. Choosing styles that have a pretty label or have an international brand name you’ve heard of is one way to buy wine. This will result in some nice wines but far too many will not taste as you expected.

So how can you ensure you will enjoy what you buy and not feel it was a waste of money?

Buying wine should be easy because what it tastes like is helpfully written on the back label. But you need to be able to understand the jargon used.

There is an awful lot of wine jargon out there (I’ve found over 800 terms) and some of it is highly useful and is so specific that it has a unique word (like terroir) while some of it literally describes what you see (like legs and tears) while some jargon is just used unthinkingly and can seem to be deliberately excluding those not part of the exclusive club.

Enjoying wine is a hobby open to everyone. By understanding some of the jargon used by wine buffs and bottlers you won’t be defeated by wine labels ever again.

If you want to know more about wine jargon and have them explained then go to A-Z on

PG Wine Reviews from

Co-op Irresistible Australian Chardonnay 2018
£7.50 Co-op
4 star rating (very good wine)
A refreshing and effective Chardonnay that hits the spot. Aromas of creamy peach and melon are enhanced with the appeal of freshly-made lemonade. Add to this flavours of lightly toasted crusty white bread and you have a really nice wine.

Extreme Bobal, Spain
£9 Co-op (down from £10 until August 8)
4 star rating (very good wine)
This organic and vegan Spanish red is made with the Bobal grape – Bobal literally translating as “bulls head” as the ripe bunch of grapes forms the shape of an elongated head with horns sticking out from the side. This is one of those grape varieties that is widely planted but not normally seen on the label as it usually forms part of a blend – it’s high levels of tannin and acidity mean its taste can be mouth-drying and mouth watering at the same time. So expect light fruity flavours of cherry then liquorice, followed by creamy coffee and earthiness. It also has high levels of the resverterol, the “good” chemical found in red wines high in tannin, that helps protect your arteries and heart.

La Luciole rose 2018
£10 Co-op
3 star rating (good wine but over priced)
This pale salmon pink rose has aromas of strawberry leaf and almond, while the flavours are more white wine with apple astringency. Not a lot going on but it looks pretty.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5 star rating (outstanding – the top rating given by
4 star rating (very good wine)
3 star rating (good wine but over priced)
2 star rating (a disappointing wine)

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© Paula Goddard 2020