Not too long ago I met a winemaker who said, “I believe all grapes would be red if they could.” Harsh words if you happen to be a white grape. Say we chalk it up to a simple misunderstanding, in which case this infographic from graphic designer Sean Seidell should provide some clarity.
Seidell, who has created equally intricate maps of cheese, chocolate, and whiskey, first tried to tackle the world of white wine by reading scientific papers. That didn’t offer the insight he needed, so instead he studied thousands of wine reviews until he found the 20 words used most often to describe the stuff. The chart simplifies it all by defining white wines as either sweet, dry, very dry, or off dry. From there, each type of grape gets a key that denotes how creamy or salty it is, how much apple or mineral or melon you can taste, and so on. If you want to sound like an oenophile, this is your way in.
“What surprised me most was how much un-oaked Chardonnay differs from oaked Chardonnay,” Seidell tells Co.Design. “Previously I had thought that the major difference would have been the lack of oak flavor, but they are almost completely different in every aspect.”
While the chart may not turn skeptics (of wine talk or of white wine in general) into believers, it’s intriguing to see a wine chart that resembles a craft cocktail menu. Spicy-smoky-mineral-honey wine, anyone?