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How to Be a French Wine Snob at Your Next Dinner Party…Oo La La!

By Leigh O’Connor.

Bon Santé Whether you are an enthusiast or an aficionado, wine drinkers generally know what they like and why – but how do the experts choose a bottle of wine?

I’m one of those drinkers who generally purchases a bottle based largely on price, unless it is a special celebration or the vino has been recommended to me as a must-try.

Sure, I get to imbibe numerous drops in the nature of my job as Editor of AGFG, however I am definitely not a wine snob, just ask my workmates and friends! If I like a wine, I’ll buy it again and tend to stick to my faves on a regular basis.

I take a bottle home, open it, let it breathe for as long as it takes me to get a glass from the cupboard, drink it, recycle the bottle and probably forget its name…

A real expert can tell you all the wine’s qualities, know what food to serve with it, rate it compared to other wines and most importantly, remember the wine’s name.
Okay, I know we get turned off by someone spouting about the wine as we are just trying to enjoy a glass with dinner…there are many insufferable wanna-be wine snobs out there. 

What you need to remember is a genuine wine expert wants you to understand the wine – a snob lets you know they understand the wine – there is more than a subtle difference.

How to Be a French Wine Snob at Your Next Dinner Party…Oo La La!
Here is our take on the fancy glossary of wine terms to impress guests at your next dinner party:


Exposing wine to air so that it ‘can breathe’ before drinking it introduces oxygen and releases aromas, opening up flavours much swirling wine in a glass does.


While aroma describes a wine that has been aerated (left to breathe), the bouquet is the initial smell when it is first poured into a glass.


The French term for ‘dry’ and most often used to describe dry Champagne or sparkling wine.

A cork-top wine bottle that has been ruined with cork taint – spoilage that results in a musty smell and flat flavour.

How to Be a French Wine Snob at Your Next Dinner Party…Oo La La!


Pouring wine from one container to another, usually from a wine bottle to a decanter which allows the wine to aerate and separates it from any sediment.

Also called clarifying, this is the technique in winemaking which removes unwanted particles before bottling – the most common fining agents are gelatin, egg whites, fish bladders and clay.


This is the physical sensation in your mouth that the wine creates – smooth, velvety or rough are some examples.


Another word for aroma, this term describes the smell of wine in a glass – this is usually the second stage of tasting a wine after evaluating the drop by sight.

 How to Be a French Wine Snob at Your Next Dinner Party…Oo La La!

Natural compounds found in wine which create an astringent, drying and bitter flavour on the tongue – red wines are usually more tannic than white.

This means the wine was made from various ingredients – the wider the variety, the better the wine.

Wine legs:

Also known as wine tears, these streaks form on the sides of a wine glass after swirling; although believed to indicate wine quality, that’s just a myth!

Wine pairing:

The art of combining food and wine to create the best possible eating and drinking experience.

One last term you might need after a night of culinary and wine decadence – blush – it’s what you’ll do when you wake up late the next morning and remember the party after drinking a wine with a big nose!
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