The Real Alternative Wine Glossary: T (1st half)

 Table Wine – Terraces


Table Wine – Traditionally, a wine that could drink you under the table, but now a badge of honour in every country where the grower/winemaker would prefer not to belong to an appellation club that stifles their originality. As Pascal Simonutti labelled one of his cuvees: “This is a table wine, but you don’t need a table to drink it!”

La “Tache” – Many great men of wine disport spectacular face furniture, soup strainers and cookie dusters.

Tannins/Tannic – Tannin is a property found in the skins and pips of grapes and gives structure to wines. Tannins may be said either to be green or unripe, and consequently, astringent and mouth-puckering, or ripe and integrated, wherein they provide structure and balance to the wine’s fruit and acidity. A wine which is low in tannin and high in fruit is called “easy on the gums” in Oz-speak. See tutti-frutti.

Tannin Management – An MBA course where raw tannins learn to wear a suit and a tie and speak in refined tones.

Taste – “He who can distinguish a good fruit from a bad with his palate does not have to be able to express the distinction through a chemical formula and does not need the formula to recognise the distinction”  – (The Theory of Harmony, Arnold Schoenberg). Quite.


Taste 2 – Ultimately, taste is intuitive, natural, and empathetic; snobbery is misanthropic, over-evaluative, affected. The love of anything can bring out the best and the worst in a human being. Wine, being the product of nature, should evoke happiness, laughter and good will towards other people, not drive us to distance ourselves from them because we think we understand and appreciate it more. The fact that your palate or your sense of smell is refined is irrelevant: the examples of Hannibal Lector, the Marquis de Sade, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille and our friend Tarquin Winot illustrate that those who possess gilded taste buds are themselves possessed by contempt for others. Taste, good taste, holds a mirror to your soul, and, as such, has a moral component.

Taste 3 – Taste is a more natural phenomenon than either of these opposed snobberies suggest. Exposure to great food and wine without reference to the quotidian may corrupt the palate and the soul. To me good taste is often the sheer genius of taking pains as well as a certain humility; in cooking it is sourcing the good ingredients; it is preparing them with love and attention; and it is in the meal, an occasion invoking hospitality, celebration, festival, family. It also goes above that. John Baptist in Little Dorrit who just has his stale loaf of bread in prison, yet he could cut it in different ways to taste like a melon or an omelette or a Lyons sausage. One’s imagination renders life empty or crowded, mundane or magical. As Kant says: “Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination”. No story illustrates this more aptly than Babette’s Feast wherein the glorious spread of food and wine becomes a regenerative catalyst to the community and, for, a brief moment, the men and women live beyond themselves (for they are so repressed they have never experienced real pleasure without guilt).

Taste, Bad – An Italian wine company has been producing a series of mash-up wines with labels of “The Great Dictators.” The wines taste as bad as they sound.

Ahr-Durif Hockler
Bendigo Murrumbidgee
Generoso Freixenet Franciacorta
Generoso Manzanilla Noirien
Pol Port
Kir Jumilla
Castile-Leon Brezeme
Saumur In-Seine


Bernard: It’s all waffle! Nobody is prepared to admit that wine doesn’t have a taste.

Manny: Of course you can’t taste anything, you smoke eighty bajillion cigarettes a day. What’s that you’re eating?

Bernard: It’s some sort of delicious biscuit.

Manny: It’s a coaster!

–Black Books

Tastevin – (Seen on Chowhound discussion board)

“How do you pronounce tastevin?”

“I pronounce it useless.”

Tastevin, La Confrérie des Chevaliers du – An order of 12,000 knights or chevaliers whose organisation does not in any way resemble a masonic lodge.


Tasting notes – Have two functions. Firstly, a series of trigger words to evoke the salient characteristics of wine. One may use the empirical register or develop a personal poetic vocabulary which makes the wine come alive. There is a fine line between the purely objective (boring, anodyne) and the whimsical. Having a tasting note suggests rightly or wrongly that you have tasted the wine and selected it especially for the list.

Tasting notes 2– The School of Lurid Tasting Notes wherein far-fetched similes, mad metaphors and juicy juxtapositions are adduced to bring the fruit quality of a wine to galvanic life. A form of vocabulary which puts the trope into tropical. We all do it, but beware when the language is fruitier than the wine.

Taurasi – Actually the Tao of Rasi (Tuum), a feline bipedal humanoid who served the Jedi order during the Sith-Imperial War, eventually ascending to the rank of Master (of Wine).

T.D. – Termite’s delight (a wine swimming in oak)



Lacryma – The name Lacryma Christi comes from an old myth that Christ, crying over Lucifer’s fall from heaven, cried his tears on the land and gave divine inspiration to the vines that grew there. The sides of Vesuvius are deeply scarred by past lava flows, and its lower slopes are extremely fertile, dotted with villages and covered with vineyards. Lacryma Christi is an old wine, frequently mentioned by poets and writers. Lacryma Christi was mentioned in the book by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, in W. J. Turner’s poem Talking with Soldiers, in Candide by Voltaire, and by Christopher Marlowe in his play Tamburlaine the Great, Part II.

In the region of Kizikh there is an old saying that only the finest of wines can compel a pheasant to cry tears of joy

“The vines and the wine it produces are two great mysteries. Alone in the vegetable kingdom, the vine makes the true savour of the earth intelligible to man. With what fidelity it makes the translation! It senses, then expresses, in its clusters of fruits the secrets of the soil. The flint, through the vine, tells us that it is living, fusible, a giver of nourishment. Only in wine does the ungrateful chalk pour out its tears…” Earliest Wine Memories, Colette



In an interview with The Drinks Business Miles 1-0-1-0 explained that there were significant inefficiencies when it comes to processing online orders and transferring data.

“Any interconnection of systems has a man in between,” he said. “And behind every man is a woman. And underneath every woman is a chair.” “It is not an electronic conversation because there are people at either end manually inputting information into the system. And people are wrong. And so are androids which are built by people. Only when machines build machines and we have integrated Skynet technology policed by terminators will we have a truly efficient system.”

Continuing, he explained, “The big stumbling block in the process is naming [of wine] because there is no standard way of calling, for example, Château Lafite Château Lafite (so good they named it twice) – everyone has a unique way of describing it (freakin’ expensive 1 st growth wine springs to mind) and it gets more complicated when you get into Burgundy (eg Domaine Evilly-Complicated-how-can-one-remember-all-the-vineyard-names), and Germany even more so (how they speak their infernal language is beyond me).”

So, while certain aspects of wine can be described numerically, such as vintage, unit size and of course price, when it comes to the name, currently there is no standard numeric format. Dot-dot-dot… dash-dash-dash… dot-dot-dot. And we are all going to virtual inferno in a digitally-enhanced handbasket.

Teinturier – It looks like something Dali would have painted after a night on the runny cheese, but this proves that the juice of the Alicante Bouschet grape is, in fact, red.

Tell the truth

Niles: The truth would crush her
Frasier: Please! All the wine presses in Bordeaux couldn’t crush that woman!


Dear Glossy,

My boyfriend gets hot under the collar whenever I propose chilling a red wine. What should I do? –Connie Undrum

Dear Connie,

Chilling a red wine is perfectly acceptable especially in warm weather when the alcohol will tend to be quite volatile. Indeed serving all wine at the appropriate temperature is very important. There are white wines, fine Burgundies, white Graves, Tokay Pinot Gris and Condrieu, for example, which perform more capably at a cool rather than frigid temperature. At the other extreme zingers such as Muscadet and Pinot Grigio like to be well chilled. But in reality each wine has its preferential temperature which you can only assess through trial and error. Certain reds respond better to being chilled than others – cru Beaujolais, Pinot Noir from the Loire and Alsace, Duras and Mansois from the South West, Chinon and Saumur, the main stipulation being that they must have sufficient concentration of juicy fruit.

Yours till the rending of the rocks, G

P.S. Dump your boyfriend

Teran/Terrano – It’s the Refosco with the red peduncles. As it were.

Terpene – “Love is a very good wine. But not to be drunk too often! TV Series, Dick Terpene)

Terraces – Harvesting from steep terraces in the late afternoon is said to induce tiers before bedtime.

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