5 Terms We Don’t Use for Wine, But Should

Forget keeping up with the professionals. Make up your own wine terminology. Here’s some of ours.

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5 Terms to Describe Wine

Ever find yourself at a loss for words while trying to keep up with the winos of your group? We’re here to get you started on forgetting about the vocab and enjoying the experience. Because that’s what wine tasting or vineyard tours are all about. Here’s a few of our favorites:


Obviously, this is only applicable for red wine and I’m sure there’s a professional word for it, but let’s be honest, this one’s better. I love a bold cab sav. But I’ll give it a pass if more than a glass is going to leave me looking like Violet from Willy Wonka. Wine that stains your teeth is lonely wine. It’s wine meant to be drank alone, listening to Adele’s 25.


“This Pinot Grigio is so crisp.”

“Well this one’s mushy as all hell.”

This one’s for white wine that coats your tongue like honey. Think buttery chards or rieslings heavy on the tangerine notes. Not a huge fan of the mushy stuff, myself. But maybe you’re a “shroud yourself in warm fruit on a hot summer’s day,” kind of person. And I respect that.

Pair with Sriracha

We’re talking about goon, here. The box/bag wine. Wine so bad, so acidic, that the only respectable thing to do is chase it with sriracha and hope for the best. And you know what? The world needs it. When the next paycheck is a weekend away, we pair with sriracha.


“Dry” wines are whites, reds, and even roses, that aren’t sweet. On the flip side, let’s talk wet wine. These are the wines you slug, not sip. The wines that go down easy. The wines you switch to after too many pina coladas or mojitos.


This is a wine you can’t be bothered to dissect. It’s from a bottle, but may have a synthetic cork. It might be on sale at the shop, but you’ll show up with it in a gift bag. It’s a wine you don’t know well yet, but you’re casually seeing.

So next time you’re at a vineyard or being forced to spit out your wine by a wannabe sommelier, put aside your insecurities and CALL IT LIKE YOU TASTE IT. Make up your own terms, get silly, and remember the golden rule: wine is for drinking, not labelling.

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Sam Ferrante is a poet, editor, facilitator, and writer born on Long Island, college-fed in Western New York and Paris, and then poetically raised in Buffalo, NY; Ireland; and Australia. A former member of the Pure Ink Poetry team in Buffalo and a regular competitor in Dublin's Slam Sunday, Sam was a Co-Creative Producer at Melbourne-based Slamalamadingdong in addition to serving on the Melbourne Spoken Word Committee. Sam has been published in Ghost City Press, Blowing Raspberries, and The Dirty Thirty Anthology and has been featured at The Owl & Cat Session, La Mama Poetica, Girls on Key, and White Night 2016 among others. Her debut book of poetry, Pick Me Up, got rave reviews from her Mom. She is currently the Editor of CrowdInk.