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Huckleberries Online

7 ways to puncture a wine windbag

Elizabeth Richardson pours wine for a tour group at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville, Wash. Washington and Oregon winemakers hope to tap growing markets in China and Hong Kong. (Associated Press)
Elizabeth Richardson pours wine for a tour group at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville, Wash. Washington and Oregon winemakers hope to tap growing markets in China and Hong Kong. (Associated Press)

Elizabeth Richardson pours wine for a tour group at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville, Wash.

 

Uncle Patrick gargles his wine. “I taste blackberries and cherry and oak,” he says, “and a lot of tannins.”

The only thing you know about wine is that it comes in different colors. But, with holiday meals approaching, here’s how to puncture wine windbags, thanks to Washington State University Professor Kathleen Williams:

Precipitate saliva. When Patrick says he tastes tannins, you say: “Tannins don’t have a taste. They create a sensation as they precipitate the proteins out of your saliva.” Tip: Stroke your chin sagely as you pronounce “precipitate.”

Throw in a German word. Patrick swirls the glass. “Good legs,” he observes. You say, “The French call them tears. The Germans call them Kirchenfenster or church windows, because they form an arch.” Read more.

Are you knowlegable about wine? Do you have a favorite you'll be serving with your holiday meals?




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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.