Ask Sid: What is meant by a wine being short?

January 9th, 2019
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short wine tasting

Question: At a wine tasting last week our group leader went on about two of the wines in the line-up being a bit short. What is that?

Answer: Yes wine nomenclature includes those words “short” and “long”. Not a height factor but a reference to the lingering  length (and often the amount of time) on the finish of the wine after you spit or swallow a mouthful. Don’t know what wines you were tasting but I wouldn’t get too hung up on those words – unless it refers to a short pour. A light delightful refreshing wine will always be shorter than a big dense more alcoholic one. So what? It depends on the style of the wine to a certain degree though lower grape yields with more concentration usually results in a wine with more length. An impressive lasting impression –short or long- is important no doubt. However, for me more important still in your assessment should be the balance of fruit, acid, tannins and alcohol. Does it all come together in an admirable way with elegance, texture and complexity inviting you to try another sip. Enjoy.

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January 9th, 2019

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