Glass of wine with a bottle of wine on the side
Why Some Sommeliers Ditched The Wine Term 'Minerality'
Getting serious about wine can involve some strict terminology, but one term you won't have to worry about anymore is "minerality," which is losing credibility.
In theory, "minerality" refers to the qualities of a region’s soil or rock types where the grapes are grown rather than being a scientifically real phenomenon, which it isn't.
Minerality is supposed to refer to rock-like flavors from flint or gravel to asphalt or oyster shells, but it’s highly individual and thus, unquantifiable.
Alex Maltman of Aberystwyth University has argued that minerality cannot exist because grapevine roots don’t take up minerals and thus those flavors can’t be present.
Rather, these flavors are a factor of "terroir" — the way that the land of genesis influences the grapes — which can include temperature and soil composition.
Conversely, sommelier Rajat Parr suggests "electricity" as a replacement word to describe the "electric sensation that produces tension in the wine," per Wine Enthusiast.
Perhaps it’s best to listen to wine critic Jordan Mackay and understand "minerality" as less of a literal flavor of minerals and more of a poetic description of the wine’s essence.