An exploratory study about the wine tasting terminology to non-expert wine drinkers

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Wine is a product known and produced in various regions of the world for many centuries and is part of the human heritage/culture. However, despite being such a common product, studies indicate that the wine terminology used by experts (bottle label; tasting notes) several consumers do not understand it.
To understand if this applies to European Portuguese, we applied a survey to European Portuguese informants.
Firstly, we select terms related to color (retinto, carregado, limpo), aroma (equilibrado, frutado, leve), and flavor (frutado, austero, mineral) among others. After we created the question structure "Define, in your own words, what you understand by (insert term) wine?" The informant had no space limit to write. With this question, we wanted to see how informants defined by their words, without resorting to existing sources (such as glossaries, dictionaries) what they understood by that particular word in the specific context related to wine.
Secondly, we searched the exact terms in specialized reference works (wine dictionaries/glossaries/ vocabularies) and compiled the lexicographic definitions.
In a third moment, we organized the definitions of the surveys and the lexicographic definitions and confronted the results.
The results of this sample allowed us to identify the following aspects:
(i) Whether informants/consumers are, on the one hand, aware of what definition is and what essential characteristics should be present when defining something;
(ii) What is the degree of proximity (or not) of the informant definitions to the expert definitions;
(iii) Which terms have definitions closest to lexicographic definitions and which terms have definitions that are more distant.
The findings may also provide clues to future methodologies on how to make lexicographical definitions about wine tasting, so the non-specialist-consumer is able to better understand the wine.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventTERMOS 2020 Second Wrocław Terminological Meeting - University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland
Duration: 5 Mar 20207 Mar 2020


ConferenceTERMOS 2020 Second Wrocław Terminological Meeting


  • wine
  • tasting terminology


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