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'Vino Lingo' explains wine words and phrases for all

Ray Fister
Becky Mortensen

Future unicorn, mouthfeel, snappy grapes. These words and phrases all have one thing in common — wine. Podcaster Ray Fister is the author of a new book called Vino Lingo. It features a collection of terms from wineries that can teach everyone, from the novice wine drinker to wine snobs, something about the wine-making process.

The book is based on Fister's podcast Life Between the Vines, which has been sharing wine content with the world for nearly 14 years. Fister collected words, phrases and definitions from wineries in places like France, Napa Valley and here in the Midwest.

"I'm trying to make wine less scary, so letting them tell us what the meaning of these words are, you know, pulls that curtain away a little bit so we can understand what they mean. They're not really that technical. They're science-based, many of them and other words are kind of shot from the hip type words," Fister says.

Some of the more technical terms include analogy, which is the study of wine and refractometer, which helps winemakers determine if grapes are ready for picking.

There are also unique terms like future unicorn, "Future unicorn is simply a wine that a winemaker has this feeling about when he's tasting it early that it might have potential for being something great, and they will keep a specific eye on that line for three years or five years or longer to see where it's going to go," Fister explains. "It just simply means it's a very special wine."

Fister is already planning a follow-up book to share more wine words.

"Don't let wine scare you," Fister adds. "Go out, taste, have a good time and enjoy it with friends."


Becky is WUWM's executive producer of Lake Effect.
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