Learning about wine is really a full-time job — one most people don’t have time for. So, if you want to drink wine and not feel like a total idiot, or often find yourself drinking with people who like to describe their wine in detail until everyone else in the room feels inferior for simply downing whatever fermented grape juice they’re handed, it’s helpful to know a few ways to sounds like you know about wine. Honestly, you don’t have to know a single thing about winemaking techniques, varietals, or regions to fool your drinking buddies into thinking you have a sophisticated palate. It’s all about knowing how to bullshit like a pro.
If you hang out with enough people who work in the wine industry or just know what they’re talking about, you pick up a thing or two about how they twirl their glass, smell each wine before taking a sip, and go to extreme lengths to describe what they’re pouring into their body. That’s the thing about wine — some people can’t just happily drink a glass or four and instead feel the need to explain all 45 flavor profiles in their glass.
The good news is you absolutely don’t need to do that to enjoy wine, and you certainly don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. But if you want to fool people into thinking you know a thing or two, here are some easy things to try the next time you find a glass in your hand.
Twirl It Around In Your Glass A Lot
The classic cool girl wine move is to keep swirling your drink around in the glass. Even if you don’t know that the motion helps aerate the wine and bring out more flavors, you’ll look like you know. They key, however, is to make sure you can swirl it without spilling wine all over yourself. That’s never a good look.
Talk About The Color
When it comes to wine, you don’t want to actually make stuff up, because you could end up sounding even more ignorant than if you had said nothing at all, so it’s best to stick to topics you can speak to. And everyone can describe what color the liquid in their glass is. You can talk about how the color is different than other similar wines you’ve had, or just simply describe the color in the most eloquent way possible — either way, you’ll give the impression that you know everything that goes into giving wines their distinct hue.
Describe How It Feels On Your Tongue
It’s pretty impossible for a non-trained wine drinker to pinpoint all the obscure flavors that end up in a single glass, so the easiest route is to describe how it feels. That might sounds weird, but it’s usually easy to determine whether a wine feels smooth on your tongue or leaves a dry, more textured feeling. If you want to really sound like a pro, that texturized feeling, or “grip,” is called the wine’s tannins, which occurs in all wines, but is most noticeable in reds. Throw that word around for super-pro status.
Find Out Where It’s From And Talk About The Climate
The weather in the region a wine is made contributes a lot to how it ends up tasting. So, by simply describing the usual climate in the area, you’ll give the impression that you know how the climate affected the grapes, even if you have no clue. For instance, if you’re drinking a red wine from Australia, just talk about how hot and dry it is on the continent.
Ask People What They Taste And Agree Enthusiastically
If you’re with people who really know what they’re talking about, it’s tricky to say anything without sounding like a complete amateur, so a fool-proof tactic is to just ask them what they taste and agree with them. If you say things like, “Yeah, I taste that too” or “Hmm, I get a hint of that,” it will sound like you actually know what you’re tasting, but really they’re just feeding you the correct info.
Say Something The Taste Reminds You Of
Sometimes you have no idea how to describe a certain taste, but it reminds you of sitting by the ocean and smelling the salt water and sand. Shit like that sounds great when describing wine. Simply saying what a wine reminds you of will sound like you really understand the essence of the drink.
There you have it. Now you’re a fake wine professional.
Original by Lauren Holter @laurenholter