Another Wine Byte 5: Descriptive Terms
Here is the fifth in our weekly series of Another Wine Bytes; information about wine you can use to impress your friends (but not in an obnoxious way, of course!)
AWByte #5 – Length, Aftertaste & Finish
Ever notice how the flavor of some wines disappears almost immediately after you swallow, but others linger in your mouth? Wine connoisseurs refer to this as the “length” of the wine, but I like to call it “Hang Time.”
Imagine the basketball player with the awesome vertical leap, dunking the ball into the basket. Some players will tip it in, landing quickly back on their feet. But others will hang on the rim, savoring the score. In a hoops game, sometimes hanging on the rim will draw a technical foul — but wines whose flavor lingers in the mouth after swallowing are called long — definitely a positive description.
The intensity and persistence of flavor reflects the quality of the wine. The flavors and aromas continuing in the mouth after the wine is called its aftertaste. The quality and enjoyment of the wine’s aftertaste, combined with how long it lingers, is described as the wine’s finish. And the finish can sometimes give an indication of how the wine might age. A poor wine often produces a rather boring end.
The next time you’re tasting wine, close your eyes and slowly count after you swallow. And hope for a long hang time.
And that’s this week’s “Another Wine Byte!”
~Amy Corron Power,