How to be a wine bluff

There are the serious wine buffs. These guys know what baume is, know why wine bottles have that little thing on the bottom, and know the best vintages from Chateau de le Nousseau Francais le Pois ooh la la (roughly translates to: Chateau of the something french the something ooh la la).

Then there are the rest of us. The wine bluffs. We know which wines are red (hint: look at the colour), which ones are cheap (hint: look at the price), and which ones are liquid (hint: all of them). This isn't a guide to being a wine buff, just a way to seem a bit buffer. Think about it as the vinified equivalent of stuffing balloons in your shirt to make your biceps look bigger. One note before we begin though- this isn't because there's anything wrong with being a wine bluff, but because it's hilarious to pretend to be fancy. By no account should these 'Bluff to Buff in Fourteen Days!' tips be used to be the kind of whiney winey wanker who thinks that saying something about the nose of a wine makes him special. That's just not on. You must only use your powers for good.

Enough about that. Let's get down to business.

There is a basic equation for all Winespeak:

nose + palate + finish = Bufftastic!

What this means is that you just need to say something about the nose (you can also call these the 'aromas' or 'bouquet':
Fruit, citrus, honey, oaky, butter, and floral are good for most whites, and the reds tend to align with earth, fruit, undergrowth, smoke, liquorice and chocolate. So, your first sentence will be something like "this opens with a lovely bouquet of honey and oak". The more outrageous your descriptors are, the more buff you seem. Kerosene (for riesling), pencil shavings, and barnyard have all been used to describe a wine's nose.

After you've waxed lyrical about the aromas, it's time to get to the tasty side of things. Many of the same terms can be used here (fruity and earthy and so forth), but now it's time to add some texture:
Chewy, silky, powerful, delicate, subtle, rich, vivid, bright, zesty, and smooth are all reasonable things to add here. Czech it out: "the grenache begins with a earthy nose which is followed by a subtle touch of chocolate on the palate". See how I put the nose and the mouth together? Oh yeah.

Time to rock this baby home. Let's get to the finish. This is what the wine leaves you with right at the end, and it's generally bigger with reds than whites. Here you can describe the length of the finish (sustained, lingering, etc) as well as the flavour. Again, many of the same terms can be used, but words like tannic and astringent are particular to the wine's finish. Hence: "this year's cabernet merlot announces itself with vivid aromas of cherries and stone fruits, which are delicately balanced by smooth tones of oak and plum on the palate. A lingering touch of smokey, tannic richness adds a welcome layer of complexity to this fine blend".

If you want to get ultra fancy, you can describe the acidity (crisp, sweet, or dry), the 'fullness' (full-, medium-, or light-bodied), and the complexity (well structured, balanced, nuanced, etc). And there you have it. Instant wine buff, just add water.

See how easy that was?*

*So, ah, even though this is easy, all the times I write about wine here it's, er, totally different. Not easy at all. I'd exlpain how it's different, but, well, it's so special and complex that you fools wouldn't understand. Yeah.

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