Have you uttered these words before? Not to worry. So has my dad, and I still not only love him, but I actually like him, too. Allow me to dispel the myths surrounding these three mythical, wine-speak beasts, so as to ensure they will never be used again.
1. Great Legs
What it means: There's alcohol in the wine. Thank the ever-loving creator almighty. (I was referring to Bill Gates but feel free to utilize your own personal deity). That's it.
Noticing that a wine simply HAS legs is akin to writing your name at the top of the page when you're in grade school. Let's not take it any further than that. Legs=booze. Booze=viscosity. Viscosity=legs.
Are we done here?
What it means: Low in acid. Low in tannin. Low in character. Low on the totem pole. Dirty lowdown. OK. I can't go any further. High in alcohol. High in sugar. High...sigh. In all seriousness, I could have left this off the list, but I didn't want to. When I hear smooth, sometimes I think that people who say this actually just want wine that isn't as wine-like as it might have been before the grapes made it all the way into the big-time commercial winery where they were tinkered with, watered down, boosted back up, "colour-corrected" (is this Photoshop™?), smoothified, had their fingerprints burned off, oak-chip-or-dust-infused (if only we were so lucky) and were pooped out as bottles of branded, publicly-traded labels on skids shipped by the hundreds to big-box stores all over the continent. Yes, lots of expensive, 'iconic' wines that start with better fruit are also doctored and treated to fit this profile. I've lost my train of thought...I suppose what I am saying is that if I hear someone say "smooth" as if it's like, THE BEST THING EVER ABOUT WINE EVER OMG, then...well, at least they're enjoying the wine. Smooth, you may have won this round....but....ya honestly got nothing just take a victory lap. I like wine that still has its fingerprints. What most people call 'grit' is just acid, tannin, and occasionally some funky character. Occasionally, that means smooth. Many times, it does not. Either way, I like things that stand on their own. Things that don't wear the uniform. And I guess, I look at 'uniform' and 'smooth' as synonymous. And as the Greeks say, at least in the movie (you know which one!), ahhh there you go...
3. "It's a little thin."
What it means: "I only drink wines that can be described as smooth." Fuck. Me. Sideways. No, not the merlot Sideways. BUT. Seriously, people look at the colour of a red wine, and when it isn't blacker than crude, and it doesn't numb your tongue immediately and bring you to the verge of type 2 diabetes...then, no good. Listen, you, it is not normal for wines to look like a purple version of balsamic reduction. There are a few out there that, yes, can be naturally inky. But if you left the grapes to their own devices, so sorry, you'd have plenty of wines that were more transparent, lower in alcohol, lighter in style, as tannic and as dark as they might naturally be based on the grapes themselves, the skin contact and skin-to-juice ratio (which indeed could be very, and could result in a "thick" appearance; you'd like a hunk of meat to help you through that one instead of a Mars™ bar and a tube of BBQ Pringles™), and generally, what some would describe as "thin". If you want thick, you should try any of the following:
•Los Angeles rush hour (outside of a pandemic...though I can't verify)
•A drunken Scottish accent
•Donald Trump's skull
•People who say "it's a little thin" like it's a bad thing
I'll stop before I get into trouble. What are they gonna do, fire me?