Exploring wacky wine lingo:
• Entry level. Winemaker’s lowest-priced bottles, often made with excess juice or juice not up to quality standards of better efforts. It is intended to monetize surplus juice, introduce you to winery’s style, and entice you into moving up in price and quality.
• Horizontal tasting. Tasting different bottles of same variety, same vintage, same region. A test of winemaking skills, effect of local weather, terroir.
• Vertical tasting. Tasting bottles of wine from same location and winery over a period of years. Typically, a test of vagaries of climate, but also the evolution of a winemaker or influence of different winemakers and grape growers.
• Racking. Transfer of wine from fermenting vessel or barrel to another container to remove wine from lees. Done by gravity rather than a pump. Also known as soutirage or soutirage traditonnel.
• Lying on the lees. Lees are dead yeast particles, seeds, stems, pulp and tartrates that are natural part of winemaking; generally lees sink to the bottom of the barrel or tank. When they are stirred and not removed, they give wine a creamy, thicker, more oily character. There are two types of lees: gross and fine. Gross is big chunks like seeds and stems; too much of them adds harsh and bitter notes; good winemakers rack before that happens. Fine lees mostly are dead yeast cells that add nuances. When aging is done on fine lees, it is called sur lie (French for “on the lees”).
• Lay down. Place bottle in horizontal position and leave it alone so it can age.
• Flying winemaker. Name for consultant who travels the world to give advice. Michel Rolland is most famous such consultant. For some, his name indicates quality; others complain his wines forgo distinction in favor of uniform style. Movie “Mondovino” paints an unflattering portrait of chain-smoking Rolland.
• La Bastarda Pinot Grigio Terri di Siciliana 2015: Tasty, easy-to-like, great price. $8
• Château de Lardiley Rosé Bordeaux 2015: Uncomplicated pop-and-pour flush with ripe red fruit. $13
• Duchman Family Winery Grape Growers Blend NV: Texas grape crowd pleaser with structure and sophistication; decant. $20
Last round: WINOS: “Women In Need Of Sanity.” Open to every female who wants to join.