Wine Descriptors 3

Wine tasting descriptors continue.

• Acidity: Key component of wines that “cleanse the palate.” Hot years/climates reduce acidity. Cold years/climates increase acidity. Acidity preserves freshness and keeps wines lively—very good thing. Too much acidity stomps on fruit flavors and texture—not a good thing. In tasting notes, “good acidity” means it pairs well with food; especially important in white wines.
• Soft: Round, fruity, low in acidity, no aggressive tannins, easy to drink; often associated with merlot.
• Ripe: Grapes achieve ideal level of maturity. Less-mature grapes produce lighter wines with less flavor and more acidity; over-mature grapes produce high-alcohol wines with less acidity. Ripe is the good spot in the middle.
• Rustic: Describes rough, hearty wines and evokes visions of leather jackets and Harleys. Petite sirah and carignane welcome being called rustic. Rustic tannins are coarse and chewy, which your palate may love. On other hand, if an expensive Burgundy is rustic, that is not a good thing. Wine cannot have silky, sophisticated tannins and be rustic at same time. If you like pleasure with a dollop of danger, rustic is good. If you prefer Maurice Chevalier over Clint Eastwood, rustic may not be the way to go.
• Round: Generally, means wines that have lost youthful, astringent tannins through bottle aging. Also describes young wines with soft tannins and low acidity. Generally, a good thing. Unless you lust for rustic.
• Earthy: Little girl with a curl—when good, very good; when bad, very bad. Good: fresh soil, intense expression of the land. Bad: barnyard after cattle herd moves on.

Tasting notes:
• Wild Oats Central Ranges Chardonnay 2012: Supple, creamy, delicious; pineapple, fig, vanilla, oak hints; smooth, Oatley Family pleaser. $15
• Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2012: Juicy, jammy, blackberry, cherry, pepper, chocolate; big mouthfeel, smooth, sweet, oak. $15
• William Hill Chardonnay North Coast 2012: Delicious ripe stone and citrus fruits; appropriately restrained oak; fresh, refreshing; bravo! $17

Last round: I tried to login to my iPad today. It was an Etch-a-Sketch. I don’t own an iPad. Also, I’m out of wine. My life is total crap.