wine words


Last week was our last classroom session for the WSET Diploma. Alas, I missed it because of illness. But it seems a good time to reflect on my not-quite-finished two years of fieldwork among the WSET. (With apologies to Evans-Pritchard.)  Like most fieldwork, it seemed at times interminable, and at other times, to go by in a flash. There was culture shock and disorientation. Who are these people? Why do they do these things? There...

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Readers of this blog, and those who have heard me speak at conferences, will know that my relationship with the language wine people use is complicated. There are often reasons for the words we use, but those reasons are not always self-evident. Nor do we do a very good job of making this known, and explaining what those words are intended to convey. In many ways, and many times, wine language is coterminous with, but not equal to,...

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For the inaugural decoding, I’ve chosen Judith Beck’s 2013 Blaufränkisch Alte Lagen 2013, from Austria, for a number of reasons. First, it is a favourite here at Anthroenology. (In the spirit of full disclosure, Judith Beck is someone we’ve been talking to and working with on the project, although there is no compensation involved.)   Second, when I recently ordered some to use in wine tastings, it arrived with...

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The ideas behind this post are still vague phantoms that refuse to take concrete form, but as I tell my students, writing is often a good way of thinking ideas through. What I am trying to think through here is the concept of ‘translating the senses.’ The fact that we should be paying attention to other senses than the visual is fairly well-established in anthropology and related fields, even if it is perhaps more honoured in the...

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This post is something of a follow-up to my previous one, on ‘wine-sensing.’ This time, and in the following post, I want to consider talking and writing about wine, in part as a way of trying to sort out ideas for an academic paper I’m working on. Anyone visiting this website is probably familiar with the stereotypes of pretentious wine snobs and their descriptions: an elegant if demanding wine, at the peak of maturity, with hints of...

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