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Is there a wine tasting term for this?

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As I've written before, I've been sampling various inexpensive Spanish and Portuguese reds. Last night I opened one that will be a keeper, but not for some obvious trait. It's still an everyday wine, but it's better than my others. The word I'd choose is "solid," in the direction of a bordeaux, but not tannic, not fruity, not complex, not tending to sweet, Medium-bodied but satisfying in that it doesn't seem deficient in that regard. It's balanced, definitely easy-drinking.

Primavera Bairrada 2005 Riserva, Portugal

Just curious. Maybe it's "just wine." :)

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    1. There's a school of wine criticism (primarily English) that finds American wine writing deficient in that it is fixated on describing individual flavor elements but cannot/does not adequately convey the nature/gestalt of the wine. I think it was Michael Broadbent who described this style as the "Fruit Salad" school of wine writing. I got a fine sense of the wine you were describing from your description and concur that "solid" is an informative term.

      1. So does "balanced and easy-drinking."

        1. You described the wine well. Solid is a good word. Balanced and easy drinking are very good terms. There are some others that describe that quality of solidity, though each of them has a specific nuance in usage: heft, fullness, weight, presence, and structure. If the wine is round in its flavor, it can be described as fleshy or voluptuous. Glad you found a wine that was a keeper and can become a "solid" part of your "repertoire."

          1. I'd typify this as a "balanced" wine, and one that you like.


            Oh poop! ML beat me to it.

              1. Thanks, everyone. I'm glad the description worked!

                I am in this word dilemma with tea as well. I am far more esconced in the tea world, and it is every bit as complex and interesting as the wine world. There are so many flavor nuances that I taste, yet cannot describe to my tea-drinking friends, though they themselves are pretty good at it. Part of the problem is that with tea, there are confusing descriptors. For Chinese pu'er tea, the words "plum" and "camphor" are often used, but they don't quite mean what you think they would!

                I'm guilty of buying some expensive teas. Sometimes as much as a dollar per gram. But you can get 5 to 20 steeps out of a great tea, so the cost seems less painful. If you have teas from a reliable vendor, the results from such teas are astonishing.

                2 Replies
                1. re: comestible

                  I've recently encountered this with a dear friend with a fantastic wine palate who also has an educated tea palate. Oh, the things I'm learning! My gosh, it's as specialized as wine. Very esoteric, very prized teas. Before I had no idea as to the subtle differentiations among specialized, imported teas, and now I am learning! How lovely it has to have a friend who can open the door to a new world.

                  1. re: comestible

                    even though I drink tea much more than I drink wine i do find a lot of common procedures between the two. "solid" seems be a word I'd use for tea as well as wine. Since there are wines (and tea) i've tasted that seem very evasive and ever changing, or, as my sister described something the other night as tasting like it's "in the other room". So, "solid" would be something that is very even and well rounded, and square on the mid palate.

                    Last week while my brother was in town we had Italian wine two nights in a row. Both times I got some strange scent going: first night I thought I smelled something like caramelized onion and cheese, the 2nd time (a different wine in a different place) I kept smelling "stinky cheese"! Could it really be? Well, I looked around afterwards online and saw that indeed, the terms "barnyard", and "funky" have been used to describe some Italian wines. Phew!

                    As for tea tasting, yes, some Pu'er also have the "moldy" scent that people love. Interesting enough, I've smelled the kind of "moldy" that's really off-putting, as well as the kind of "moldy" that's quite deep and complex. I'm wondering if your mention of "plum"(mei2) is actually the word of the same sound for "mold"?