How to Talk About Wine Like an Expert this Holiday


It doesn’t matter if you’re sipping chardonnay out of a solo cup or savoring champagne from a crystal flute, it’s always a good idea to know the basics about wine. From placing a drink order you’ll actually enjoy to casually chatting with friends, knowing about the “legs” and familiarizing yourself with the buzzwords will be a blessing in the long run.


Know the Lingo


Anyone who hangs around wine drinkers has heard “dry” and “fruity” thrown around to describe a glass of wine, but the flavor descriptors go far beyond those straightforward adjectives. In addition to those words, here are a few other adjectives to add to your vino vocabulary:

Dry – This descriptor is used far too often and typically out of content. The term refers to the sugar content in the wine, and “dry” specifically means there’s no residual sugar. If your morning coffee order is black with no sugar or cream, then this is the wine for you.

Crisp – Typically thrown around over a delicious glass of Sauvignon blanc or Pinot gris. Use this adjective if you enjoy the refreshing, acidic taste of whatever you’re sipping.

Oaky – If you notice elements of smokiness in the wine, this is the word for it. The toasted, smoky flavor is a result of the wine being stored in oak barrels through the fermentation process.


Look Like a Pro


Start small – This is a great way to find out what you like and look like an expert in the process. If you discover you really enjoy Cabernet, focus on learning the flavor profiles and regions of origin for this specific type of wine. Once you feel comfortable tasting and talking about a specific wine, move on to another variety.

Stare before you sip – You might just become one of those people at whom you laugh. Slosh your red wine around the glass, take a big sniff and a good look at the color. There’s a lot you can learn about the flavor of a wine before you even have a taste.

Look at the legs: You know those drops of wine on the side of your glass after taking a sip? If you’ve never noticed them, you certainly will now! Wines with a low alcohol content will have thin, fast-moving legs, while wines with a higher alcohol content will have visibly thick, slow legs.


We have some seriously skilled wine connoisseurs on our team at Palm Valley Fish Camp, and we’re always ready to talk about good wine and how it pairs with our seasonal foods. From a full-bodied Syrah with legs that look like molasses to an easygoing Pinot grigio, there’s something for everyone here at The Fish Camp.



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