Eeewwwwww!!! If this is an earthy wine with hints of gym socks…is that even drinkable? If it smells like gym socks, I’m not gonna drink THAT!? Gimme some orange juice instead, please!

Studies show that customers do not understand the “wine lingo” used by professionals. This is a delicate issue, because you can’t describe certain sensations without using the suitable tasting descriptors. However, some people tend to push it sometimes! And that scares people away, because they might think “Oh this is too fancy for me! I’ll grab a beer instead”.

Often times the information you find on the back label does not help to understand what the wine is like – well, sometimes it doesn’t mean a thing! Few people tend to pick a bottle upon reading that description.

Do you drink wines that have aged in American oak too? Or only those that age in French oak? Only oak from Alliers, you say? Tronçais oak isn’t your cup of tea? Aaaawwwww… Different kinds of oak have a different impact. But who can say that? Regular customers? I don’t think so!

What about the wine stopper? Are you ok with screw caps or do you prefer cork? What about the percentage of grapes in the blend? Is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Merlot better than 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot? Do the time and date of the harvest influence your choice when picking a wine up?

Most customers couldn’t care less about these things. They only make sense if you know what they mean and what impact they might have. A wine isn’t better than another because it offers more peach or cherry or goudron on the nose. The tasting descriptors are fine if you take them as a description, but it does not determine the true value or quality of that product. Wine is so much more than that…! It’s history, it’s the picture of a territory, it’s culture… The bottom line is that wine can be enjoyed without getting bogged down by technical jargon and tasting descriptors. Let’s keep wine enjoyable, not intimidating to “end-drinkers“.

In order to satisfy everybody’s needs, you can find all kinds of information here in Banana In My Wine. The tastings shall be done and described by two people: one who can use some more technical descriptors and understands the wine lingo and another one who drinks for pleasure and is a regular customer. But we wouldn’t describe it as an earthy wine with hints of gym socks – we’ll use wine descriptors sensibly.

What do you look for when you shop for wine?