Do You Know These Bizarre Wine Terms?

A wine thief goes in the bung.

by Erin

There’s a reason those of us in the wine industry are often considered pretentious. Well, there’s a lot of reasons.

But today I’m talking about one case in particular: our bizarre wine language that’s tough to decipher unless you really take serious study.

These wine terms are often flung about so casually by sommeliers, it’s understandable the casual wine lover would get irritated with our ridiculousness.

Here’s a quick primer on the bizarre – and often hilarious – words of the wine world, so you can see a somm’s bung hole and raise them your punt.

Seriously, these are official wine terms

Bottle Sickness:

I feel like I experienced this last Saturday morning after a lovely night out on the town. But that’s another story. Instead, bottle sickness, also known as bottle shock explains the temporary muted or disjointed flavours of a wine that can happen right after bottling. This is also why wineries have the bottles rest for a few weeks or months before selling them.

Bung hole:

I find it shocking people can say this with a straight face. But I’ve never been accused of being mature. A bung is simply the hole in the top of the barrel where wine is poured in and out. There’s also a bung stopper, FYI.

Cold soak:

Some of us may have done this after a date that didn't turn out the way we had hoped. But in wine, this is a common wine making technique that happens when just-picked grapes are allowed to sit for a while in a chilled tank prior to pressing and fermentation.

Infanticide:

Good gawd, who thought this is a proper expression to casually drop into dinner party conversation? When someone blathers on about committing infanticide, they’re not discussing their murderous exploits of under agers. When it comes to wine, the snob no one admits to inviting is talking about opening a wine bottle years before it's ready. Typically a posh bottle that would be better after cellaring a few years to allow the flavours to come together. 

Punt:

One of my favourite wine stories is of the great Mae West who had ordered Champagne. The server poured it for her, placing his thumb in the divot at the bottom of the bottle. Mae took a long drag off her cigarette, and with a slow exhale, turned to him and said, “my dear sir, get your thumb out of my punt!” While many servers and somms might use the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle as a resting place for their first digit, a punt's role is not for ease of pouring. According to physics, punts came about to help distribute weight and pressure in the glass and therefore avoid breakage.

Volatile:

Whether it be in people, the stock market, airplanes, or wine, no one likes volatility. In the case of wine, volatile refers to excessive acids which can taste excessively sour or vinegary.

Wine Thief:

Nope. This is not what my parents called me when I raided their liquor cabinet as a teenager. This is a glass or plastic tube used by wine makers to extract wine samples from the barrel – through the bung, incidentally.

Hear From Real People!

Wow, Emily was absolutely fantastic! She was patient, explained the wines well, and was a delight to work with.

Thank you so much for everything I will definitely use your services again.
 
I wanted to thank you SO much for your tutored wine tasting! It was so much fun. You were both informative and hilarious! Each person said they would definitely recommend you to anyone looking to do a wine tasting!
The Wine Sisters put on magnificent event in Unionville..... They did a superb job, both as Sommeliers and on the PR and overall event co-ordination ... Great job and we look forward to working with you on our event!
The unique programs and the tour we did with you was a huge success. Guests really enjoyed the afternoon!
I wanted to thank you again for last night. Everyone had a great time, and I received a lot of compliments, on your behalf. You struck a great balance between being informational and entertaining. 10 out of 10.
You were great and hilarious, and made everyone feel comfortable. Appreciate your time with me and helping pull this event together.
Thank you very much for the amazing wine tasting. We all had the most wonderful time. The wines were excellent and your presentation was very entertaining and informative.
Thank you very much for your services. Everyone had a fantastic time and loved everything! Thank you again for a successful event and making me look oh so good.
You and your team were an absolute pleasure to work with! From the get go, you were very flexible with our needs, communicated in a timely manner, and tailored your services to be exactly what we asked for.
Everything was perfect and very personalized! We still talk about experience and how nice it was. Definitely memories our family will treasure forever.

Instagram Feed

Follow on Instagram

For support issues or any questions, please email us at drinkwithus@thewinesisters.com

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to be the first to know about our wine recommendations, cocktail recipes, and great tips for throwing fabulous parties.