søndag den 13. april 2014

Terres & Vins. Prize & Praise

It was one of the annoying flights to Paris, late start, 'this is your captain speaking, please remain seated at all times as we're expecting heavy turbulence', arriving in Charles de Gaulle Airport (don't need to get in to that) and waiting 40 minutes to get a shitty car that never – even downhill with the wind coming from behind – would be able to violate any speeding regulations. So yes; I'm running late. By a few hours. I am en route to Reims where the Terres & Vins de Champagne group is having a get together in the vaulted cellars of the famous cathedral. The real tasting is not until tomorrow, but the Terres & Vins group is hosting a social event the day before as usual. On the highway, Aurélien is on the phone: 'Where are you?' 'On my way!' 'Okay, see you soon'. I stumble into the beautiful rooms that have a rather sacred ambience holding a light and delightfull buzz of people who have been spending the last couple of hours sipping champagne. I love that buzz and is truly happy to have finally arrived.
     I am only halfway through the crowd saying hello to many good friends and acquaintances, doing les bises here and there as deemed appropriate in a situation like this and happily accepting the champagne glass someone is handling me, and then there's a sudden sound of someone clearing his throat in a microphone. Everybody turns to look at Benoît. He can on occasions be somewhat of a showman, but this time he and Alexandre are going to hand over the Terrea & Vins-prize as the group does every year to someone they believe has showed effort to promote growers champagne. Great ambassadors of Champagne such as Peter Liem and Jordi Melondo e.g.
     As I hear the names Mia and Mads Rudolf, I am truly stunned. But mostly: Completely lacking words! It's a great and unexpected honour and I would have loved to explain how grateful I am and how important this is to Mia and me. And this is exactly why I dragged you all the way through delays, airplane turbulence, Charles de Gaulle Airport, car hiring and so on: I want to apologize for me looking sheepish, trying to say thanks a bunch in french, and for Mia not beeing there at all. Well. Therefore this writing. When I called Mia on the phone afterwards, she said, 'Oh how fantastic, did you remember to say this and that in your thank you-speech?' Well no, I did not... If my head had been a bit more clear, I would have put something like this together:

Terroir versus brand
Champagne is geographically a large area with considerable differences from region to region. Differences that, traditionally, have not been emphasized. As dedicated champagne enthusiasts, we've travelled the region and searched in many a book for any kind of information to enlighten us on this marvelous beverage. And in any book, we would generally get the explanation, that the vineyards of Champagne couldn't make complex wines, and that it would only be possible to achieve greatness in the wines by blending from most of the area. An explanation that not only didn't match the experiences we have had on our journeys to Champagne, but was in complete and utter contradiction to the reality that we had experienced through – and with – the growers, our friends, from all over the area. So what to do? In a way the answer is simple: rewrite the books. Or rather: Write your own book with the true, athentic story of the Champagne district.
     That is what we tried to with our book from 2009 – The Champagne Bible. It tells the story of Champagne and champagne in eye sight with the growers and the vineyards behind the wines and not so much with the big merchants and famous brands and Châteaux of the region. In fact it is a main thesis in the book: That there is a thorough and quite important conflict between brand and terroir which goes back to the very early days of sparkling wines, and which has formed history and its events to this date. An analysis we indeed are proud of claiming as our contribution to the perception of the history of champagne. (Unfortunately still only available in Danish ... ). Yes, the controversy between merchants and growers does exist in all wine regions, but never put so much on the edge as in Champagne. Yes, there are general contradictions between brand and terroir, but champagne is exemplary to highlight and understand these differences.

Craftmanship and consciousness
Like in most of Western Europe, 20th century Champagne has been ruined with poor work, overuse of chemical (de-)solutions and a general decline in basic understandings of the work with soil and the vines. But there has also been more awareness towards greater knowledge of vinification processes. And first of all the area has turned from a poor region with fear of famines and disasters to a fairly rich area with a quite prosperous agriculture.
     During the 15 or so years we've been working professionally with the people and wines of Champagne, there has been a growing awareness of the need to restore the craftmanships of the wine and the consciousness of the soil. To work sustainable and with pride. For us the Terres & Vins organisation proves this very clearly and is at the same time an inspiration to let it grow.

Past and future
We've been visiting Champagne before we even met eachother. (What Mia remembers best from her very first visit to Champagne is peeing at night in one of Pommery's vinyards). The beautiful cellars of Pommery, the impressive largeness of Moët and further on. We visited Billecart-Salmon, Leclerc-Briant and even Anselme Selosse whom then, in general and certainly also to us, was considered the state of art-exception to the rule that all great wines should come from assemblages made by the big houses. But it was Terres & Vins members to be, David and Pascal, that first showed us the real Champagne. Opened our eyes to the many different terroirs and expressions of the area. It was with other Terres & Vins members to be, like Françoise and Olivier, who made us realize how vast and diverse Champagne could be. We owe great gratitude to all the people who opened their doors and invited us into the cellar. And showed us around the vineyards while answering our more or less stupid questions.
   When we started to travel frequently in Champagne some 15 years ago, it struck us that all the villages were very closed, with shutters in front of the windows and the gates just as closed. We met marvelous, generous people all over, but it seemed as though they didn't get along with their neighbours very well. Whereas Burgundy has its Grands Jours..., Languedoc/Rousillon ViniSud and Loire the Salon des Vins de la Loire, just to mention a few, Champagne seemed to us rather unable to cooperate. Could you borrow your neighbours tractor, we wondered. Could you do serious wine tasting together with competitors. No, we thought, no, not in Champagne. But that was before.

Nobel Prize
We did manage to find our humble ways to most of you on numerous travels and tastings. But bringing this all together in one organisation, in one tasting, with many different expressions, but with one united goal – to show the diversity of the true work with vines and wines within Champagne – that is a rather impressive task, and we are very thankful for you to accomplish that.
    Times have changed. Champagne experts and authors of classic books on champagne now feel it's necessary to embrace the growers and even claim to have discovered the potential of the récoltant-champagne. So be it. We all know that the truth is elsewhere to be found. To reveal the potential of Champagne is a tough and dirty work that starts in the vineyard. But it is a significant change in the view of the growers, and for that you, the hard working and true vignerons of Champagne, can praise yourselves.

To receive the Terres & Vins prize is a great honour. It went by without any front pages back home in Denmark, but when people ask why we have this piece of barrel with our names on it, we explain that we won the Nobel Prize of Champagne. Nothing more, nothing less. And oh yes, we are proud of it! So thank you all very much.

Ceci n'est pas une pibe! This is not just any piece of barrel, it's our Terres & Vins award 
which we got in april 2013. Thank you Terres & Vins de Champagne, we are very proud. 

fredag den 28. marts 2014

FRI VIN 2014

Fri Vin 2014
Liberté, égalité, soif

26. april 2014, kl. 10-18.

Prags Boulevard 43, Bygning 5, 2300 KBH S

onsdag den 12. december 2012

On criticism

As a critic you must always be careful not to express any opinion as to what the originator of the criticized subject should have done, but stick to your assessment of the result. Criticism is a personal amalgamation of analysis and interpretation. It is not necessarily a positive or a negative assessment even though often it is exactly either positive or negative but an assessment of meaning and purpose. In the area of pictorial art or literature for instance, criticism can be seen as a debate in the public, where various players overstate or understate the significance of a given phenomenon. Even though wine, too, is an aesthetic phenomenon, there exists practically no wine criticism; in the world of wine you find, on the whole, only personal assessments resulting in a quantitative judgment on a scale from one to six stars, from 50 to 100 points or from zero to two billion poppy seeds.

Notes and points

The idea that the quality of a wine can be quantified on a scale is so deep-rooted that it is difficult to think of other ways to judge a wine. Let us begin by dwelling a little on the scoring. Points or notes is a funny way to proclaim the winner of the day at a tasting in the wine club. In spite of all its reservations and shortcomings (and we shall return to them later), scoring may absolutely be legitimate. In that case you have to imagine a scale where the bottom rating is undrinkable and the top rating is perfect. As a starting point all such scales are an expression of the following formula: unacceptable – acceptable – good. If you find this a bit constricting you may add two ratings to the formula: quite unacceptable – unacceptable almost acceptable – acceptable good. Or yet another two: quite unacceptable – unacceptable almost acceptable – acceptable almost good good – really good. According to your temperament you may let the wording correspond to numbers and let the scale go up to 12, 100, 1000 or 2 billion. In its simplest form such a scale has the built-in problem that the gap between the bottom and the top part of 'acceptable' can be enormous. And how do you distinguish a wine which is just good from one which is really fantastic? Conversely, the tendency seems to be that the more possibilities for distinction the scale gives you, the more lenient the judgment will be: 87 or 88 points? Honestly? And once you have given the magic 100 points, what the heck then do you do when you get an even greater experience?
But perhaps the problem in reality lies somewhere else.


It is plainly problematic to compare such different experiences as wine can be. How do you quantify the experience of drinking a young, simple Muscadet Sèvres et Maine with mussels and sea rocket on a mild summer day on Bornholm with the kids playing on the beach compared to drinking a 40 year old, noble and extremely complex Romanée-St-Vivant in a cellar of an old lady in Burgundy? Do they belong on the same scale at all? Can you compare them? And should you compare them? It reminds me of a joke from my childhood: Which is higher, a soprano voice or the Round Tower? Of course it is easy for a grown-up person to realize the confusion of the concepts, and that the problem is that the metaphor is taken at its face value, but for a five-year-old child it is not a linguistic but a concrete mystery; which is actually higher? And although it may be a fine exercise to put yourself in a five-year-old boy's place, you might as a wine drinker perhaps wish to be a bit more mature, to put it like that. Just once in a while, at any rate.

Opening up or closing down experiences

In newspapers, books, and magazines wines are normally described with a short account of recognizable taste sensations (a kind of summary, if anything), an assessment of the balance of the wine and possibly comments on typicality. In conclusion the account is closed with an overall evaluation in the form of a score. And 'close' is the proper word. As a consumer guidance it may be said to live up to its purpose. A consistent taster who describes and evaluates wine soberly (and in fact there are some who do that) may – when you become acquainted with his style and taste – be a guidance that helps you find out which wines you like and which you don't like. Just like a film, art or book reviewer in the newspapers. But as a wine review it is rather a one-track approach. We give a short summary of the wine, shut the book with a snap, and put the stamp on the wine: 4 stars. Did anyone become wiser? Or more thirsty, for that matter? Probably not. The final allocation of points is precisely equal to closing down the experience. There! Such is the quality of this wine. Full stop!

To me the purpose of an analysis and an interpretation must at any time be to open up the experience. A well-informed analysis of a novel with a view to the context of the novel and its importance for literature can open your eyes to totally new ways of reading the novel in question, but also to literature in general, just as an oblique observation during a reading can open up new insights and give you greater fun. Why shouldn't we tentatively assume that you can communicate wine in such a way that the communication can open up new and greater experiences? That, instead of being a means to a conclusion, analysis and interpretation can be a way of creating insight – and new opnenings.

Extract from 'The Little Wine Taster' (Den Lille Vinsmager) pp. 59-61, © Kuboaa 2012

tirsdag den 11. december 2012


Man skal som kritiker altid vare sig for at mene noget om, hvad ophavsmanden til det kritiserede burde have gjort, men holde sig til sin opfattelse af resultatet. Kritik er en personlig sammentrækning af analyse og fortolkning. Det er ikke nødvendigvis en positiv eller negativ vurdering, selv om det ofte netop er enten positivt eller negativt, men en vurdering af betydning og formål. I f.eks. billedkunst- eller litteratursammenhænge kan kritik ses som en debat i det offentlige rum, hvor forskellige aktører lægger til og trækker fra et fænomens betydningsdybde. Skønt også vin er et æstetisk fænomen, findes der så godt som ingen vinkritik; i vinens verden er der stort set kun personlige vurderinger, der munder ud i en kvantitativ afgørelse på en skala fra en til seks stjerner, fra 50 til 100 point eller fra nul til to milliarder blå birkes.

Karakterer og point
Det er så indgroet en forestilling, at en vins kvalitet kan kvantificeres på en skala, at det er svært at tænke sig andre måder at bedømme vin på. Så lad os først dvæle lidt ved pointgivningen. Point eller karakterer er en sjov måde at udråbe dagens vinder ved en smagning i vinklubben. Med alle de forbehold og mangler pointgivning kan have (og dem kommer vi tilbage til), kan det bestemt også have sin berettigelse. Man må i givet fald forestille sig en skala, hvor bundkarakteren er udrikkelig og topkarakteren perfekt. Som udgangspunkt er alle den slags skalaer et udtryk for følgende formel: uacceptabel – acceptabel – god. Synes man, at det er lidt indsnævrende, kan man tilføje to punkter til formlen: uacceptabel – næsten acceptabel – acceptabel – næsten god – god. Eller endnu to: helt uacceptabel – uacceptabel – næsten acceptabel – acceptabel – næsten god – god – virkelig god. Efter temperament kan man lade ordlyden modsvare af tal og lade skalaen gå til 12, 100, 1000 eller 2 milliarder. I sin simpleste form har en sådan skala det problem, at forskellen fra den nedre til den øvre del af acceptabel kan være enorm. Og hvordan skelner man en vin, der bare er god, fra en, der er virkelig fantastisk? Omvendt er der en tendens til, at jo flere distinktionsmuligheder skalaen giver, jo mere lemfældig bliver afgørelsen: 87 eller 88 point? Helt ærligt? Og når man først har givet de magiske 100 point, hvad dusen gør man så, når man får en endnu større oplevelse?
Men måske er problemet i virkeligheden et helt andet.

Det er åbenlyst problematisk at sammenligne så forskellige oplevelser, som vin kan være. Hvordan kvantificerer man oplevelsen af at drikke en ung, simpel Muscadet Sèvres et Maine til muslinger og strandsennep en lun sommerdag med børnene legende på stranden på Bornholm med en 40 år gammel, ædel og ekstrem kompleks Romanée-St.-Vivant i en kælder hos en gammel dame i Bourgogne? Hører de overhovedet til på den samme skala? Kan man sammenligne dem? Og skal man det? Det minder mig om en vittighed fra min barndom: Er det tordenskrald eller rundetårn, der er højest? Det er sevfølgelig let for en voksen at se, at der bliver rodet i begreberne, og at problemet er, man tager metaforen for pålydende, men for en femårig er det ikke et sprogligt, men et konkret mysterium; hvad er egentlig højest? Og skønt det kan være en udmærket øvelse at sætte sig i en femårigs sted, kunne man måske ønske sig, som vindrikker, at være en anelse mere modnet for nu at sige det sådan. Bare indimellem i hvert fald.

At åbne eller lukke oplevelser
Almindeligvis beskrives vin i aviser, bøger og blade med en kort beskrivelse af genkendelige smagsindtryk (en slags referat vel nærmest), en vurdering af vinens balance og muligvis kommentarer om typicitet. Afslutningsvis lukkes beskrivelsen med en samlet bedømmelse i form af en karakter. Og 'lukke' er det helt rigtige ord. Som forbrugervejledning må det vel siges at leve op til sit formål. En konsistent smager, der beskriver og vuderer vin sobert (faktisk findes der enkelte), kan, når man lærer vedkommendes stil og smag at kende, være en vejledning, til hvilke vine man selv kan lide eller ikke lide. Ligesom en film-, kunst- eller litteraturanmelder ved aviserne. Men som vinkritik er det temmelig ensporet. Vi giver et kort referat af vinen, klapper bogen i og giver den stemplet: 4 stjerner. Blev nogen klogere? Eller tørstigere for den sags skyld? Næppe. Den afsluttende pointgiving er præcis at lukke for oplevelsen. Sådan. Så god er vinen. Punktum.
I mine øjne må formålet med en analyse og en fortolkning til enhver tid være at åbne for oplevelsen. En indsigtsfuld analyse af en roman med udsigt til romanens kontekst og dens betydning for litteraturen kan åbne ens øjne for helt nye måder at læse den specifikke roman på, men også på litteraturen som helhed. Eller bare en skæv iagttagelse i en læsning kan åbne for nye indsigter og større fornøjelse. Hvorfor ikke forsøgsvis antage, at man kan formidle vin således, at formidlingen kan åbne for nye og større oplevelser? At analyse og fortolkning, i stedet for blot at være et middel til en afslutning, kan være en måde at skabe indsigt – og nye åbninger – på.

Uddrag af Den Lille Vinsmager, Mads Rudolf (Kuboaa 2012), side 59-61.

mandag den 12. november 2012

Den Lille Vinsmager

Årets julegaveidé.
Kan fås i boghandleren og i udvalgte vinbutikker landet over fra d. 12. november 2012.

tirsdag den 6. marts 2012

Anvisning i at blive vinkender på 25 minutter

Her på Gastropean er vi stolte over at kunne præsentere en så prominent gæsteblogger som den navnkundige svenske vinekspert A. S. Trindberg.
A. S. Trindberg har siden sit gennembrud med bogen Rödvins rummet, der lagde grunden til det moderne vingennembrud i 80'erne, stået som en af vor tids helt store autoriteter inden for vinsmagningens ædle kunst.

Anvisning i at blive vinkender på 25 minutter

Af A. S. Trindberg


Det står enhver frit for at købe vin og mene om den, hvad enhver ønsker at mene. Ingen tvivl om det. Alligevel må det konstateres, at visse meninger står i højere kurs end andre. Ved middage på restauranter eller i privat regi, ved festlige lejligheder eller ligefrem til vinsmagninger (det er her, denne pamflet virkelig kommer til sin ret), kan enhver mæske sig med storartede vine, hvis de har råd, men dette er for en ikke helt lille befolkningsgruppe langt fra nok. Det væsentlige er ikke blot at nyde vinen, men at tale om vinen. Uden en i særlige koder fyldestgørende analyse og beskrivelse af vinen kan den ikke opfattes som behørigt konsumeret. Denne analyse og beskrivelse kan kun foretages af en ægte vinkender. At blive en sådan vinkender kræver mange års hårdt slid og en betragtelig portion selvfedme. Heldigvis er kunsten ikke svær at aflure, og med denne pamflet i hånden turde ethvert nogenlunde fornuftigt menneske være i stand til at bluffe sig igennem som Kender efter ca. 25 minutters studier.


Jeg forråder her idealet for den ægte vinkender, der vil hævde, at kun en slidsom og mangeårig interesse kan føre til evnen at fremtræde som Kender. Sandheden er: Der er intet lettere end at være vinkender. Hvor den uindviede dagligdags vindrikker (og uha, er der noget man ser ned på som Kender, er det folk der blot drikker vin) f.eks. vil sige, at en vin 'smager utroligt dejligt', vil en Kender aldrig begive sig ned på det niveau. Efter at have snuset, gurglet, in- og exhaleret nogle gange, vil han rynke panden lidt og ustøde et betænksomt: Hmmm. Hvis han virkelig synes godt om vinen, vil det kort efter blive fulgt op af et temmeligt intetsigende 'Interessant'. Hvor vindrikkeren blot har givet udtryk for en følelse af, at vinen smagte godt, vil Kenderen aldrig nedlade sig til følelser; hans bedømmelse stikker dybere, hans analyse er fagligt baseret og hans viden og evner er selvsagt uendelige. For Kenderen handler det ikke om blot æstetisk nydelse, men om hans egen bedømmelse og dermed andres manglende omdømme og åndsevner. Kunsten at være vinkender hviler på et basalt kendskab til fagtermer, en betydelig selvovervurdering og en vis evne til omstilling. Den sande Kender tager aldrig fejl og må derfor altid være omhyggelig med at stå i en position, hvorfra hans bedømmelse ikke kan modsiges. Over for lægmand vil Kenderen stille sig på den tekniske og faglige side for at vise sin overlegenhed og overtrumfe med sin kunnen, men over for fagfolk vil han stille sig på den jævne vindrikkers parti og dermed gennemtrumfe sine kæpheste alene på en æstetisk holdning. Således er Kenderen altid på sikker grund og almægtig i sin egen fuldkommenhed.

Indledende øvelser

En vinconnaisseur bør aldrig være kategorisk i sine udtalelser; dette kan opfattes som useriøst, og desuden er det ganske risikabelt. En vinkender kan dufte til sit glas i timevis. Dette giver indtryk af fordybelse og udskyder, at andre evt. måtte aftvinge vinkenderen en egentlig holdning.

Hvis vinkenderen føler sig nødsaget til at komme med en egentlig værdidom – og dette bør generelt set undgås – skal han selvfølgelig understrege, at der blot er tale om en præliminær iagttagelse og derefter udtrykke sig med gloser, der kun vanskeligt – om overhovedet – har nogen direkte sammenhæng med virkeligheden. Et eksempel: For en vin på dette niveau, udtrykker den nogen omtanke, om ikke egentlig ædelhed, så dog en stræben mod en vis vertikalitet. Eller: Vinens viskositet og frugt er muligvis ikke i balance, men måske er det blot det stadie, vi har grebet vinen i? Blev De ret meget klogere? Nej, men sådan tale hægter hvemsomhelst af. Den ukyndige imponeres; den kyndige orker ikke at modsige eller stille spørgsmål. Resultatet er, at den, der fremkommer med sligt, fremstår uimodsagt og som en ægte connaisseur!


Et godt råd til den begyndende vinkender er at finde en særlig stil, et teknisk udtryk eller en særlig vinkel, man anlægger på alle vine. F.eks. kan man sørge for altid at spørge, om vinen har været bâtonneret, picheret eller lignende. Hvad enten der kan gives et fornuftigt svar på spørgsmålet eller ej, kan vinkenderen sætte en eftertænksom og bedrevidende mine op og sige: 'Hmmm' eller 'Ah'. Det gælder blot om at finde sin egen detalje at spørge til. Eventuelle kontraspørgsmål eller opfølgninger kan til enhver tid afværges ved blot at stikke næsen dybt i glasset og se meget koncentreret ud. (Dette gælder i alle prekære situationer)! Efterhånden som man møder de samme mennesker flere gange med samme spørgsmål, vil folk begynde at tro, at man har forstået noget, som er gået hen over hovedet på alle andre; en særlig indsigt i vinen, der knytter sig til f.eks. bâtonnage. De fleste tekniske termer vil fungere i denne sammenhæng.




Er man på dybt vand i diskussionen af en given vin, eller af vin generelt, kan man altid spille 'Joh, men nu skal det jo ikke blive for akademisk-kortet'. Hermed signalerer man, at man ved bedre, men at ingen andre tilstedeværende vil være i stand til at fatte noget videre, hvis man begynder at forklare.


Et begreb, der skal bruges med en vis forsigtighed, da det har en reel betydning. I reglen i forbindelse med champagne. Dog ved stort set ingen, hvad denne betydning er, så begrebet er i de fleste situationer ganske anvendeligt! Bliver man spurgt direkre til betydningen, kan man blot nøjes med at sukke og forklare, at det er en ganske kompliceret proces i enzymerne i vinen. (Da mindre end en kvart procent af verdens befolkning ved, hvad enzymer egentlig er, så er det normalt rimelig sikker grund).



Refererer til balancen mellem vinens forskellige elementer; syre, sødme, tannin osv. Enhver vinkenders vigtigste redskab. I de fleste kredse er det helt legitimt at sige ting som: 'For mig er det vigtigste i en vin balance.' Dermed har har man antydet, at man smager vin på et andet niveau end andre, samtidig med at det er umuligt at modsige (skulle nogle mon foretrække en ubalanceret vin?).


En perfekt glose til at vise mangel på respekt for en vin uden at sige nogetsomhelst konkret. Virker, uanset om der er tale om en grand cru eller en tilbudsvare fra supermarkedet.


Udtryk, der afhængigt af sammenhængen kan vise bekymring, mishag, glæde eller snart sagt hvad som helst. Bør for en sikkerheds skyld ledsages af en let panderynken og intensiv snifning til vinen. (Således kan det om ikke andet, være besynderligt at netop denne vin smager så godt, på trods af producent, årgang, stadie, smagskomponenter eller whatever).


Kort for brettomycanes. En særlig type vildgær, der giver en lidt rustik staldlignende duft. Duften er ret almindelig i meget gammeldags vin i modsætning til udtrykket, som ikke mange kender. Har en konkret betydning, så udtrykket skal bruges med forsigtighed.



'Vinens energi har en nærmest centripetal karakter'. Fuldstændigt vrøvl; en karakteristik, der skal anvendes med forsigtighed.



En værdidom. Bør undgås. Kan til nød bruges i forvrøvlede forbindelser som: 'Dejligt at nogle har modet til at gå imod strømmen og være mainstream.'

Dobbeltydige bedømmelser

På sin vis højdepunktet af en vinkenders kontrafej. Kan ikke bruges for meget i forbindelse med vin. F.eks.: 'Vinen har en umiddelbar frugt, der står i skarp kontrast til dens komplicerede struktur.' Eller: 'Strukturen i vinen gør, at den nærmest har indbygget sin modsætning.' Eller: 'Frugten er næsten overdøvende, men alligevel er den ikke særlig fremherskende.' (!)


Skal bruges sjældent og med varsomhed, men er komplet ubegribeligt og vil ofte gøre lykke i sætninger som: 'Vinen er umiddelbart ganske ligetil, men den har noget dæmonisk over sig.'



Altid herligt at binde vinens karakter op på en kategorisering af mennesketyper, som de færreste egentlig er fortrolige med. Se også Sangvinsk, Flegmatisk og Kolerisk



Vinens farve er i reglen en del af bedømmelsen, men man kan let slippe uden om egentlige modsigbare udtalelser ved f.eks. at fremhæve vinens 'hårde' eller' krystallinske' farve.


Altid herligt at binde vinens karakter op på en kategorisering af mennesketyper, som de færreste egentlig er fortrolige med. Se også Sangvinsk, Elegisk og Kolerisk.



Herligt udtryk, der kan være positivt, negativt, nedladende eller opløftende efter behag. Man kan evt gardere sin beskrivelse (mod at andre finder vinen moderne) ved at hævde, at 'intentionen er gammeldags.'



Bør aldrig benyttes som svar på spørgsmål, hvor det kan fremstå usikkert og famlende, men vældig gerne i en indadvendt skuen med et eftertænksomt udtryk, hvor det giver indtryk af dybsindighed og en mere tilbundsgående og kompleks forståelse af vinen, end andre mennesker er i stand til.



Antyder at en vin smager eller dufter godt, men egentlig ikke er noget værd.


Fremragende udtryk, der kan hives frem i de fleste vanskelige situationer, skulle man blive tvunget til at lave en egentlig bedømmelse af en vin, eller hvis man er så uheldig, at det er ens svigerfar eller vinbonden selv, der har serveret noget, der smager af gammel bark og kogt penalhus. ('Hvad jeg synes? Joh, interessant – virkelig interessant!')


Jagtvin (Årets Jagtvin)

Nedladende (og forsøgsvis humoristisk) måde at negligere kvaliteten af en given vin. Virker kun med rødvine.



Definitivt for karakteristisk. Bør kun bruges, hvis man er på virkelig sikker grund!


Fint udtryk, når man ikke synes at vinen smager fuldstændig gennemsnitligt, men ikke rigtig ved, om man kan lide den.

Koldklima vin

En ret usammenhængende betegnelse for vine lavet i et relativt koldt klima. Vist nok et forsøg på at bringe vin fra f.eks. Canada og New Zealand ind i det fine selskab med f.eks. Bourgogne og Champagne.


Altid herligt at binde vinens karakter op på en kategorisering af mennesketyper, som de færreste egentlig er fortrolige med. Se også Sangvinsk, Elegisk og Flegmatisk.


Eksemplarisk udtryk, der kan benyttes om de aller største vine, såvel som nogle fæle fejlskud; kompleks. Hvad betyder det? Tjah. Det kræver et komplekst svar.


Betyder, at vinen ikke har nogen fejl, men at vinkenderen finder den særdeles kedsommelig.



Konkret betegnelse for smagsnuancer i vin, men tilpas udefinerbart til at de fleste uden videre vil lade den passere, uanset hvorledes vinen smager.


Et samlet udtryk for tre navnkundige vine fra Côte-Rôtie i den nordlige Rhônedal. En måde, så at sige at være på fornavn med vine til mange tusinde kroner flasken. Uanset om man har smagt disse tre La'er, vil det aftvinge en respekt hos de fleste, hvis man f.eks. siger, at en given Rhônevin jo langtfra er på højde med Lalala'erne, som de var før i tiden. (For en rutineret Kender var alle berømte vine langt bedre 'før i tiden').



En væsentlig del af processen med at lave rødvin. Meget vigtigt for vinens udtryk, men få ved noget videre om, på hvilken måde det indvirker på den færdige vin. Oplagt at henvise til vanskeligheder med macerationen eller lignende, hvis man skal give udtryk for en sløret misbilligelse.

Maceration carbonique

Teknik til at skabe særligt lette og frugtige rødvine. Blev i mange år brugt som spørgsmål i fast stil af en hel række Kendere, der ikke kan betragtes som generelt velestimerede. Meget slidt udtryk; bør bruges med varsomhed.

Malolaktisk gæring

Blandt Kendere blot kaldet malo. Beskriver en omdannelse af æblesyre til mælkesyre. Konkret begreb og normalt uanvendeligt for en ægte Kender, men man kan f.eks. dog hævde, at 'den malolaktiske gæring har vist ikke forløbet helt hensigtsmæssigt'; ingen vil for alvor være klar over konsekvensen af dette.


Udmærket udbrud, der viser en frankofil baggrund og antyder klassisk vindannelse, uden at betyde noget konkret hverken positivt eller negativt.


Udtrykker en stum tilkendegivelse af en berømt eller generelt velestimeret Kenders bedømmelse. Bør ledsages af en forsigtig bøjning i nakken.


Herligt udtryk, der kan være positivt, negativt, nedladende eller opløftende efter behag. Som beskrivelse kan man evt gardere sig (mod at andre finder vinen gammeldags) ved at hævde, at 'intentionen er moderne.'



Glimrende udtryk om vine, man kan lide. Som modsætning til unaturlig (hvilket næppe er en betegnelse nogen vil bruge om vin, de kan lide).


En beskrivelse af en konkret vin, der pr. defintion er kategorisk og ultimativ. Et meget vigtigt redskab for en ægte Kender: En note om en given vin er autoritativ og udtrykker Sandheden om vinen. Skulle der være uoverenstemmelse mellem ens egne og andres noter, er det ikke udtryk for forskellige opfattelser af vinen, men tilkendegiver de andres manglende faglige, åndelige og moralske kompetence.


Man bør til enhver tid afholde sig fra at hævde, at en vin smager af dette eller hint; en rigtig Kender fremhæver, at vinen har noter af dette eller hint.



Begreb der beskriver vinens udvikling, ældning og en hel masse andet. Kan anvendes som et udtryk for fejl, modning eller produktionsmetode. Meget anvendelig term i ikke kategoriske udsagn. Alle vine har en eller anden grad af oxidation.


Temmelig luftig teknisk term. Det modsatte af Reduktiv. Meget få vil være sikre nok til at modsige, at en vin skulle være oxidativ.


Fagterm, der i almindelig menneskers ører nærmer sig rent vrøvl. Bør kun anvendes af den rutinerede Kender.



En måde at bashe en dyr vin, hvis man ikke kan lide den, eller evt. har vurderet den som værende ligegyldig. 'Jovist er det en stor og dyr vin, og den smager jo basalt set godt, men jeg synes, den har noget prætentiøst over sig.'



Altid herligt at binde vinens karakter op på en kategorisering af mennesketyper, som de færreste egentlig er fortrolige med. Se også Elegisk, Flegmatisk og Kolerisk.


En af vinens hjørnestene. Henviser oftest til vinens syre og evt. tanninindhold, men der er ingen klart afgrænsede definitioner. Kan bruges både positivt og negativt i flæng og vil altid dupere.


En stor vin er en betegnelse, der er simpelthen kun kan tilskrives de allerbedste vine, og man bør omgås udtrykket med varsomhed. Heldigvis kan det modificeres på flere måder, således at man kan differentiere mellem 'stor' og 'god'. På den måde kan en vin være stor, selvom man ikke rigtig kan lide den. Kan benyttes hvis man ikke har vurderet en særligt dyr flaske videre højt. 'Bevares det er stor vin, men jeg synes ikke, den rigtigt er i balance på dette stadie.'



En udmærket bortforklaring hvis man har rost en alt for billig vin (og det gør Kendere bare ikke!). 'Jovist er det en lille og simpel vin, og den smager jo heller ikke af noget særligt, men jeg synes den har noget herligt uprætentiøst over sig.'



En måde at udtrykke at en vin er særligt vinagtig. Positivt; men kan vel ikke i sig selv betragtes som videre klar tale.



Kan være utrolig afgørende for en vins kvalitet og traditionelt set noget, Vinkendere bruger meget energi på at tale om. En sand Kender bør aldrig være rigtig glad for vine fra mindre anerkendte årgange. For en sikkerheds skyld bør Kenderens favoritårgange være så tilpas gamle, at ingen andre må formodes at have smagt dem: 1945, 1928 og 1921 er udmærkede - omend ikke videre originale - muligheder.

Instructions on how to Become a Wine Connoisseur in 25 Minutes.

We at Gastropean are proud to present such a prominent guest blogger as A.S. Trindberg, the renowned Swedish wine expert. Since his breakthrough with the masterwork The Red Wine Room, which founded The Modern Wine Breakthrough in the 80'es, Mr. Trindberg has stood as one of our times' most prominent authorities within the noble art of wine tasting.

Instructions on how to Become a Wine Connoisseur in 25 Minutes.

By A. S. Trindberg


Everybody is free to buy wine and to have whatever opinion about it that he wants. No doubt about that. It must be recognized however that some opinions are more popular than others. At dinner parties in restaurants or private homes, on festive occasions or simply at wine tastings (where this pamphlet really justifies its existence), everybody can gorge himself with outstanding wines, if he has the financial means, but for quite a large part of the population, this is far from enough. What's important is not only to enjoy the wine, but to talk about the wine. Without a specifically coded satisfactory analysis and description of the wine, it cannot be considered as properly consumed. This analysis and description can only be made by a true wine connoisseur. To become one takes years of hard work and a considerable amount of self-glorification. Fortunately it is not difficult to pick up the trick, and with this pamphlet in his hand, every reasonably sensible human being should be able to bluff his way through as a connoisseur after approximately 25 minutes of studying.


Here I betray the ideal for the true wine connoisseur, who will claim that the ability to stand out as a connoisseur can only be achieved through a laborious and long-standing preoccupation. The truth is that nothing is easier than being a wine connoisseur. Where the uninitiated everyday wine drinker (and ugh, if there's anything a connoisseur despites, it's people that simply drink wine) e.g. would say that a given wine 'is really tasty', a connoisseur would never descend to that level. Having sniffed, gargled, in- and exhaled a couple of times, he'll frown and mumble a thoughtful 'hem hmmm'. If he really likes the wine, it'll soon be followed by a rather bland 'interesting'. Where the winedrinker only expressed a feeling: that he found the wine tasty, the connoisseur will never condescend to mere feelings; his judgement is less shallow, his analysis is professionally based and his knowledge and wisdom is clearly infinite. What matters for the connoisseur is not simply aesthetic pleasure, but his own judgement and consequently other people's lack of judgement and mental faculties. The art of being a wine connoisseur rests on a basic knowledge of professional terms, a considerable amount of self-overestimation and a certain degree of flexibility. The true connoisseur is never wrong, and for that reason he must always be careful not to be in a position where his judgement can be questioned. In front of laymen the wine connoisseur will put on a technical and professional attitude to show his superiority and outdo them with his knowledge, but in front of professionals he will side with the ordinary wine drinker and impose his hobby horses based on a merely aestethic attitude. Thus the connoisseur is always on safe ground and almighty in his own perfection.

Preliminary Excercises

A wine connoisseur should never be categorical in his opinions; this can be taken as less serious, and furthermore it represents a considerable risk. A wine connoisseur can sniff his glass for hours. This gives the impression of immersion and postpones the moment where others might force a proper opinion from him.

If the connoisser feels obliged to put forward a proper value judgment – which should generally be avoided - he must of course stress the fact that it's only a provisional observation, and then express himself in words that only with difficulty – if at all – can be connected to reality. An example: For a wine at this level, it expresses some reflection, if not actual nobleness, then at least a quest for a certain verticality. Or: The viscosity and the fruit of the wine may not be in balance, but perhaps it is only the stage at which we have seized the wine? Wast thou much enligtened by this? No, but such speaking leaves anyone out. The ignorant are impressed, the experts can't find the energy to contradict or to ask questions. The result is that he who comes up with such things stands unchallenged and as a genuine Connaisseur!


A piece of good advice for the starting wine connoisseur is to find a specific style, a technical expression or a specific angle to apply to all wines. For instance you may remember always to ask if the wine has been through bâtonnage, pichage or whatever. Whether it's possible or not to give a reasonable answer to the question, the connoisseur can put up a pensive and know-all attitude and just say, 'hemmm' or 'ahh'. You only have to find your own detail to ask about. Possible counter questions and follow-ups can always be averted just by sticking your nose deep in the glass, looking very concentrated. (In fact, this goes for all precarious situations). As you meet the same people more than once with the same question, they'll start to believe that you have understood something that no one else can grasp; that you have a special insight into wine linked to bâtonnage for example. Most technical terms will work here.




If you are out of your depth in the discussion of a given wine, or of wine in general, you can always play the 'Now, don't let us get too academic'-card. By this you signal that you know better, but that none of those present would be capable of fully understanding even if if you tried to explain.

Ambiguous judgements

In a way the pinnacle of a wine connoisseur's style. Should not be used too much in discussions of wine. Examples: 'The wine has a spontaneous fruit, which is in sharp contrast to its complicated structure.' Or: 'The structure of the wine signifies an almost innate contradiction.' Or: 'The fruitiness is almost overwhelming, but at the same time not particularly prevailing.' (!)


A concept to be used with a certain prudence, as it has a real meaning - generally in connection with champagne. Yet practically no one understands the real meaning, which makes the concept quite usable in most situations! Should you be asked directly about the meaning, you can just sigh and tell the questioner that it is a rather complicated process that takes place in the enzymes of the wine. (And since less than one quarter of one percent of the world population know what enzymes actually are, this is normally rather safe ground).



Refers to the balance between the various elements of the wines: acidity, sweetness, tannin, etc. Every wine connoisseur's most important tool. In most circles it's perfectly legitimate to say things like: 'To me the most important thing in a wine is balance'. With that you suggest that you taste wine at a different level than others, and at the same time it is impossible to contradict (who would claim that they prefer an unbalanced wine?)


A perfect word to show disrespect for a wine without actually saying anything concrete. Works whether it's a grand cru or an item on sale from the supermarket.


Short for brettomycanes. A specific type of wild yeast that gives a somewhat rustic barn-like smell. The smell is quite common in very traditional wines, contrary to the term, which is unknown to most people. It has a concrete meaning and should therefore be used cautiously.



Definitely too characteristic. Should only be used if you are on really safe ground.


'The energy of the wine has an almost centripetal character'. Plain nonsense; a charateristic that should be used cautiously.


Good expression when on the one hand you think that the wine is not totally ordinary, but on the other not being really sure whether you like it or not.


Suggests that a wine tastes or smells good, but really isn't worth anything.


It is always nice to connect the character of the wine with a categorization of humans which only very few people are familiar with. See also: Elegiac, Phlegmatic and Sanguine.

Cold climate wine

A rather incoherent term for wines made in a relatively cold climate. Probably an attempt to bring wines from e.g. Canada and New Zealand into the fine company of e.g. Burgundy and Champagne.


The colour of the wine is usually a part of the judgement criteria, but one can easily avoid disputable expressions, for instance by pointing to the 'hard' or 'crystaline' colour of the wine.


An exemplary expression that can be used about the greatest wines as well as some nasty mistakes. Complex. What does it mean? Well, that requires a complex answer.


Means that the wine doesn't have any faults, but that the wine connoisseur finds it most boring.



Should be used seldom and with caution, but is completely incomprehensible and can often make a hit in sentences as: 'On the face of it, the wine is quite straightforward, but it has something demonic to it'.



It is always nice to connect the character of the wine with a categorization of humans which only very few people are familiar with. See also: Choleric, Phlegmatic and Sanguine.



When there's something really wrong with the wine (not just that you don't like it). Should be used with caution whenever there's anyone present with a technical knowledge of wine; in other situations) you can easily give it away.


When there's something wrong with the wine that is not bad enough to be a fault (see above).



The adjective 'great' is reserved simply for the best wines, and you should use the expression with caution. Luckily it can be modified in many ways so that you can differentiate between 'great' and 'good'. In this way a wine can be great even if you don't really like it. The word can be used if you have judged a very expensive wine as rather poor. 'Sure, it's a great wine, but I don't find it quite balanced at this stage'.



Should never be be used as an answer to questions, where it can be perceived as uncertain and hesitant, but much rather in combination with an inward-looking attitude and thoughtful expression, where it will indicate profundity and a deeper and more complex understanding of the wine than other people possess.



Excellent expression that can be used in most difficult situations, should you be forced to make a proper judgement of a wine, or if you are so unlucky that it is your father-in-law, or perhaps the winegrower himself, who has served something tasting like ancient bark or a boiled pencil case. ('What do I think? Well, yes, interesting - really interesting!')



A concrete term for tastes in wine, but sufficiently difficult to define, so that most people just let it pass, no matter how the wine tastes.


An umbrella term for three renowned wines from Côte-Rôtie in the othern Rhône Valley. A way, so to speak, to be on familiar terms with wines that cost several hundreds of Euros a bottle. Whether you have tasted these three La's or not, it will compel most people's respect, if you claim that a given Rhône wine is not on a level with the Lalala's from the old days. (For a Connoisseur with a certain routine, every famous wine was much better 'in the old days'.)



An essential part of the process of making red wines. Very important for the expression of the wine, but only a few know much about how it affects the finished wine. It is obvious to refer to difficulties during the maceration or the like, if you want to express a slightly hidden disapproval.

Maceration carbonique

Technique to create particularly light and fruity red wines. For many years, it was used as 'a regular question' by a whole bunch of Connoisseurs, who generally cannot be considered as highly esteemed. A very hackneyed expression; should be used with caution.

Malolactic fermentation

Among Connoisseurs just known as malo. Describes a transformation of malic acid into lactic acid. A concrete and specific term, which is normally inapplicable for a true Connoisseur, but one can, however, claim that 'the malolactic fermentation has not gone off entirely appropiately'. No one will really be aware of the consequence of this.


An excellent exclamation that shows a Francophile background and suggests a classic wine culture, without having any concrete significance, neither positive nor negative.


Signifies silent approval of the judgement by a famous or generally respected Connoisseur. Should be accompanied by a light bending of the neck.


Wonderful expression, which can be positive, negative, condescending or heartening at will. When using it as a description you may, if necessary, guard yourself (against those who might find the wine old-fashioned) by claiming that 'the intention is modern'.



Splendid expression about a wine you like. In contrast to unnatural (which no one is likely to use about a wine they approve of).


A value judgement. Should be avoided. Can be used at a pinch in muddled contexts such as: 'Nice that some people have the courage to go against the current and be mainstream.'


A description of a concrete wine, which per definition is categoric and ultimative. A very important tool for a true Connoisseur: a note on a wine is authoritative and expresses the Truth about the wine. Should there be a discrepancy between one's own and other people's notes, it is not a sign of different perceptions of the wine, but shows the others' lack of professional, spiritual and moral competence.


You should always refrain from claiming that a wine tastes like this or that; a true Connoisseur points out that the wine has notes of this or that.



Wonderful expression, which can be positive, negative, condescending or heartening at will. When using it as a description you may, if necessary, guard yourself (against those who might find the wine modern) by claiming that 'the intention is old-fashioned'.


A term that describes the development and age of the wine and a lot of other things. Can be used as an expression of faults, flaws, maturation or production method. Very usable term in non-categoric statements. All wines are oxidated to some degree.


Quite airy technical term. The opposite of reductive. Very few will feel sure enough to deny that a wine may be oxidative.


A professional term which to ordinary people verges on pure nonsense. Should only be used by the routined Connoisseur.



It is always nice to connect the character of the wine with a categorization of humans which only very few people are familiar with. See also:Choleric, Elegiac and Sanguine.


A way to bash an expensive wine, if you don't like it, or if you have judged it as insignificant. 'Sure it's a great and expensive wine, and it does in fact taste good, but I believe it has something rather pretentious to it.'



It is always nice to connect the character of the wine with a categorization of humans which only very few people are familiar with.See also: Choleric, Elegiac and Phlegmatic.


A word which, depending on the context, can express concern, displeasure, happiness or almost anything. Should - just in case - be accompanied by a light frown and an intense sniffing at the wine. (In that way it may signify, if nothing else, that it's strange that this wine tastes so good despite the producer, the vintage, the stage, the taste components or whatever).


A keystone in any wine. Usually relates to the acidity and tannin content of the wines, but there are no clearly delimited definitions. Can be used both positively and negatively and will always make an impression.



A splendid expression to explain away the fact that you have praised a much too cheap wine (and Connoisseurs just don't do that!) 'Sure it's a small and simple wine, and it doesn't taste of anything special, but I just think it has something delightfully unpretentious about it'.



A way to express that a wine is particularly wine-ish. Positive; but can hardly be considered as overclear speech.


Can be incredibly crucial to the quality of a wine, and Connoisseurs traditionally spend a great deal of energy discussing it. A true Connoisseur should never be really happy about wines from less acknowledged vintages. As a precaution the Connoisseur's favourite vintages should be so old that no one else is likely to have ever tasted them: 1928 and 1929 are excellent - though not very original - possibilities.