What the "F" is minerality?
What is minerality? Minerality is a fairly new and fashionabe term used to describe wine. In a nutshell, minerality is a broad term used to describe a whole host of things we experience in wine that leaves us feeling like we are licking stones, soil, gravel, or salt.
What defines minerality?
Minerality is a very broad term used to describe a huge host of tastes and sensations you experience from wine. Winos around the world have been throwing this term around for a few years now, but its still kind of vague. Minerality can define tastes, aromas, and other sensations that appear inorganic. These include limestone, gravel, and salt water.
So how does minerality help me?
Minerality is one of those loose descriptors that can help you understand the wine, and what you are about to get yourself into. To hear or read it described, minerality can help you get a sense for what a wine tastes like, or help you describe what you are feeling and put that sensation into words. You might catch yourself saying things like "I like the crisp minerality in this wine, it has a hint of limestone" or "This red kind of reminds me of wet flint rock...I don't get it but I like it!" Understanding these things will help you realize what wines you like, and help you on your course to discovering other wines you might like that give you similar sensations.
Ok, so how do I get a sense of minerality?
Lets not kid ourselves. Nobody is going to go around licking wet gravel and sniffing dirt on a hot day. That would be nuts, but if you want to do so then by all means go ahead. Minerality is a hard sensation to learn, but you will start to pick it up once you realize it. It not as easy as going out and eating fruits or sniffing flowers to get a good grip for what they taste and smell like, but minerality can be pretty clear when you sense it. Do things like take note of what it smells like after a rain storm, or the saline quality of oysters. Thats where you start to get a sense for minerality.