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03.24.2005

Wine Vocabulary Examined, er... Chronicled

The San Francisco Chronicle is certainly one of the most food and wine friendly, if not focused, newspapers in the country, but many times I find the writing, especially about wine, to be sorely lacking. Lacking in interest sometimes, in spirit, others, and in many cases a real critical rigor. Occasionally, though, they do manage to publish a real gem, like today's article (thanks to Vineyards of My Mind for the tip) by Wine Editor Linda Murphy, who does a fabulous job looking at the way that wine critics and writers describe the flavors and aromas of wine.

Many of you have written to me about ways to improve your own descriptors and mental associations with wine flavors and aromas, and a few of you have also written asking what the heck saddle leather actually smells like anyway.

Murphy's article is down to earth and a good read, especially for those who are beginners in the world of wine, and just starting to pay attention to the aromas and tastes, all the while wondering when it was the last time someone actually took a whiff of real crushed seashells.

Here's the article.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud