Like the fashion world it mimics, the world of wine likes to move a little faster than most of us can comfortably keep up with, thus the need for the occasional touch-up and top-up of our wine vocabulary. What follows are five terms you really ought to be familiar with even if you don’t plan on crossing swords with a Master Sommelier anytime soon.
Hang time (haŋ\ˈtīm), noun. To my knowledge there is no grape named after hoops wizard Michael Jordan (below), who by all accounts spent nearly as much time soaring above the court as on it. Jordan’s knack for extended hang time made it seem that the laws of gravity had been suspended on his behalf, at least for as long as he wore a Bull’s uniform.
In a vineyard, hang time refers not to grapes hovering with Jordanesque grace over the landscape, but to the length of time they are allowed to remain attached to a vine. Hang time can be a neutral concept insofar as it is used to measure time elapsed between flowering in the spring and harvest in the autumn, but today it’s frequently used in reference to the practice of leaving grapes unharvested long after they have reached normal levels of ripeness and are on the verge of dehydration, even raisining. [Read more…]