A little rose petal florality.
An expressive, pictorial description, right? Is it a wine description or perfume description?
When you first get into wine and read wine descriptions — whether that means from the bottle label directly, from technical specs, from store signage or from third-party online marketplaces — it can almost feel like you’re reading about an imaginary, pseudo world. Similar to the portrayal of a perfume bottle, the interpreted words are often dreamy, poetic and captivating.
Secondly, the more you get into it, the more you realize there’s a method to the madness. Yes, a lot of this falls into the category of salesmanship and marketing. However, what I particularly find fascinating about how wine is described, is that unlike many other product lines outside the realm of wine, a variety of wine descriptors are incredibly difficult to be transferrable (or interchangeable) with one another. For instance, a distinct smell might only work for certain regions based on its characteristics. As a result, if you happen to use that descriptor for something of the opposite… well, someone might just call you on your BS.
What many may see as a playful narration has the capacity to be a calculated art.
And sometimes, those pillowy fractions of a description read in a way that it’s hard to differentiate it from reading the back of a perfume box. What a puzzle!
Now let’s take that puzzlement and put a twist on it. Just for fun, I’ve gathered a few short descriptions, some represent awesome wines and some represent perfumes. Can you spot the difference? WTF (W)ine (T)alks (F)ragrance!
(Of course, the irony here is that wearing perfume to a wine tasting is not only a quick way to get some side-eye action, but also a quick way for you to kill your sip savor early as it can alter your tasting experience, and in some cases even ruin it. Just don’t do it!)
Answer key to follow the descriptions. Happy guessing, dear Shall We Wine tribe!
1. Intense and multi-faceted, creating a perfect balance between traditional and contemporary sophistication.
2. Highly aromatic with delicate notes of peach blossom, raspberry and apricot.
3. Rich and ripe dark cherry fruit, along with attractive spicy, smoky notes.
4. This bright, fresh orange blossom blends gloriously with the lush, juicy freshness of mandarin, tangerine and bergamot.
5. Well-integrated vanillin spice and cinnamon… work in concert with intense blackberry, red raspberry and strawberry building layers and depth.
6. A simple moment captured in time, SWEET is the joyful essence of living for the present.
7. With a texture like none other, the heart of the unique lychee fruit is both luscious and translucent.
8. Higher pitches of jasmine flower and passion fruit commingling.
9. Honeysuckle, star jasmine, pineapple upsidedown cake with secondary notes of lychee and candied dried citrus.
10. Great maturity, elegance, harmony and freshness.
Opening Description – Description Credit: Tablas Creek Wines
1. Perfume – Description Credit: Acqua di Parma Fragrances
2. Wine – Description Credit: LVE Wines
3. Wine – Description Credit: Masciarelli Winery
4. Perfume – Description Credit: The 7 Virtues
5. Wine – Description Credit: Gros Ventre Cellars
6. Perfume – Description Credit: Ellis Brooklyn
7. Perfume – Description Credit: Fresh Beauty
8. Wine – Description Credit: LIOCO Wines
9. Wine – Description Credit: Brown Estate
10. Wine – Description Credit: Ampeleia Wines
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