‘Elegant’, ‘feminine’, ‘sexy’: are wine descriptions helpful? | Fiona Beckett on wine

Most bottles don’t flag up what to expect in their name, but it can be useful if you’re relatively new to wine

Every so often, there’s an outburst on Twitter about the language used to describe wine and how it often puts people off. In one recent exchange, words that frequently cropped up as turn-offs were “elegant”, “feminine”, “sexy”, “smooth”, “clean” and “quaffable”, but seeing as some of those are often used on back labels, it’s clear that not everyone is on board.

If you’re relatively new to wine, it is actually quite helpful to know what to expect from a bottle, which is why some retailers flag this up in the name, though mainly at the cheaper end of the price spectrum. I decided to try some out and was prepared, I admit, to be a bit sniffy about them, given that they’re all non-vintage, but they actually did what they said on the tin – or, rather, bottle.

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