Enjoying Wine

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

For those who love it, wine can be endlessly fascinating. The varieties of grape, the place they were grown in, the weather that year, the yeasts that ferment them, the skills of the winemaker in handling them, the years they spend in oak or in glass: all these factors and more affect what we taste in a sip of wine. And there’s a lot to taste in that sip, because wine has one of the most complex flavors of all our foods. Wine connoisseurs have developed an elaborate vocabulary to try to capture and describe these fugitive sensations, one that may seem forbiddingly complicated and fanciful. Many of us most of the time would be content with the five F’s proposed 800 years ago in the Regimen of Health for the School of Salerno: