Choice of wine word left a bad aftertaste

I read with interest the review of Santé written by David Forbes in the July 8 Xpress. The article certainly whetted my appetite to experience this apparently lovely little wine bar. Although it was well-written and offered an enthusiastic endorsement of Santé, I must say that the use of the term "aftertaste" when referring to a wine's "finish" revealed that the author of the article may not understand the nuances of the art of wine tasting and therefore may not have the credibility to be reviewing an establishment for its quality of wines. The term "aftertaste" is usually reserved for things like cough medicine and perhaps certain foods — definitely not for wine.

Despite this, I look forward to a visit to Santé and am certain that I will discover many wines with a wonderful "finish."

— Howard Rollins

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6 thoughts on “Choice of wine word left a bad aftertaste

  1. brebro

    I applaud this writer’s efforts to keep the riff-raff out of the supercilious world of the true oenophile. We did not expend all this time creating our haut monde of aloof descriptions and exclusionary lingo just to have Joseph Six Pack amble in from the common world and think he can start appreciating our beverage in his own uneducated vernacular. Let the great unwashed opine unambiguously about their simplistic libations in their baser terms. I’m sure the furniture polish they drink and then spit up on their TV trays leaves the faux wood grain with a wonderful “finish” as well.

  2. Ken Hanke

    I could be wrong, but I’m guessing that a bottle of Night Train could probably be better described as having an aftertaste than a “finish,” though it may indeed finish off the drinker.

  3. September Girl

    From Wikipedia:

    “Aftertaste is the persistence of a sensation of flavor.[1] Both food and drink may have an aftertaste. Alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and whiskey are noted for having particularly strong aftertastes. Foodstuffs with notable aftertastes include spicy food, such as Mexican food[citation needed] (e.g., chili peppers), or Indian food (such as curry). The aftertaste of curry powder is from Fenugreek.”


    The flavor that lingers in your mouth after you swallow the wine. The length of the aftertaste is perhaps the single most reliable indicator of wine quality (see Finish).”

    Mr. Howard might have been thinking of the expression “bad aftertaste,” which can also refer to the residual effects of reading a snarky letter to the editor.

  4. Piffy!

    [b]The term “aftertaste” is usually reserved for things like cough medicine and perhaps certain foods — definitely not for wine.[/b]

    Elitist. Cough syrup is the bees knees, and grape syrup has a very pleasant “finish”– promethazine-y with a hint of codeine!

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