Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
In a recent post, you had mentioned "evolved" is when a wine has lost its baby fat. Can you please clarify what that means?
—Yen Wang, California
You caught me! I was doing that thing that wine lovers sometimes do when they are describing a wine—using flowery language. (See "How can I distinguish among the wine terms 'evolved,' 'tertiary' and 'fading'?") To be clear, wine isn’t made from babies or their fat, and I don’t think that babies need to lose weight.
Here, “baby fat” is a metaphor to describe characteristics that a wine will outgrow as it matures. These will vary from wine to wine, but typically I’m referring to juicy qualities and fresh fruit flavors. Depending on the context, a wine’s “baby fat” might also refer to a lush or rich texture, or a showy quality. These notes will fade as a wine ages.
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