How to Sound Like a Sommelier, Even If You Aren't

How to Sound Like a Sommelier, Even If You Aren't

Professional sommeliers take courses and get certified to speak knowledgeably about wine. Some of them even have university degrees in wine stewardship. Naturally, they know their wines inside and out. Sommeliers also know how to use the right lingo to describe fine wine . Even if you don’t plan to earn a sommelier degree or certification, you can act like you do. Just use the following words.

Earthy and Minerally

Minerally isn’t really a word, unless you’re a sommelier or you’re acting like you are. A minerally wine tastes and smells earthy. Think of the scent of ozone after a rainstorm, and you’ll know what people mean when they say something tastes minerally. This term can apply to both aroma and taste.


Muscular wines are often found in steakhouses, since they pair well with high-protein meals. They are high-tannin wines that can pack a punch. Nearly all muscular wines are flavorful, over-the-top red wines.


Sommeliers notice things like how the wine flows over the tongue . Some wines do so in a sharp, focused manner. When it impacts your palate, you might describe an angular wine as rough or pointy. Usually, the word “angular” is used to describe the flavor of a red wine or the acidity of a white wine.


A supple wine contrasts with an angular wine. It’s a low-tannin wine that subtly kisses the tongue when you roll it in your mouth. Supple wines will never make your mouth feel like puckering.


The descriptor “creamy” is nearly always used in reference to white and sparkling wines fermented in oak. Creamy is a favorite way to describe Krug Champagne, which is one of the most famous champagne houses in France.

Central Park Liquor in Steamboat Springs, CO, has been serving the Western Slope for more than 25 years. They carry more than 2,400 wine labels, 400 types of beer, and an extensive collection of spirits. Contact the store staff at (970) 879-3428.