An Exploratory Study about the Wine Tasting Terminology of Non-Expert Wine Drinkers

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Wine is a well-known product and is part of human heritage and culture. However, studies indicate that many consumers do not understand the terminology used by wine experts. To understand if and how this applies to European Portuguese (EP), we asked two questions: (i) are non-experts aware of what certain wine descriptors mean when they read them on labels or in magazines?; (ii) what is the degree of proximity of non-expert definitions to expert definitions? We surveyed a group of speakers. Firstly, we asked for: “Define, in your own words, what you understand by [insert wine descriptor].” to see how informants defined in their own words what they understood by a given wine descriptor in a specific context related to wine. Secondly, we searched for the exact wine descriptor in specialized reference works and compiled the definitions presented in those works. The results of this sample allowed us to answer our questions with interesting facts about EP reality and what the non-expert consumer understand about wine descriptors, while providing us with clues to improve definitions in resources design to help non-expert consumers to better understand the wine domain and experts to express more clearly what they what to convey.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-30
Number of pages16
JournalAcademic Journal of Modern Philology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Wine tasting
  • Expert
  • Non-expert
  • Lexicon
  • Definition
  • Wine descriptor
  • European Portuguese


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