Describing wine is a wildly subjective art and one writer’s “notes of tobacco” are another’s “hints of cassis”. That said there are some writers you may have a palate in common with. For me often the enjoyment of wine can be enhanced by reading about it prior to tasting, to see whether you can pick up on any of descriptors various wine writers use in an attempt to explain the elements of wine.
I recently had the opportunity to partake in a bottle of Thorn-Clarke’s William Randell Shiraz 2010, which James Halliday scored 97 points in his 2014 Wine Companion. “Inky” was a word he used to describe the colour and texture and I strongly connected with that. The mouth feel transported me to a hole in the wall restaurant in Barcelona where I ate a squid ink rice dish that was divine.
This is one of the many fascinations of wine, not unlike a smell that connects you to something in your childhood. Rain on dry ground connects me immediately to my childhood on a farm where life revolved around the rain (or lack of) and said rain preceded a change in the mood; a positive sign of things to come.
Understanding the ways used to describe wine, applying your mind to see whether you agree, and connecting an element of the wine to something in your past is a whimsical way to enhance your enjoyment.
Incidentally the William Randell is a cracker, go get some.