Is it possible to visualize wine in terms of shapes, rather than words?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

I saw a wine tasting instructor explain a method for visualizing the structure of a wine using shapes to represent tannins and acidity. Have you heard of this method?

—Paul, San Francisco

Dear Paul,

I’ve seen some graphic representations of wine structure. Many wine lovers describe wines in terms of shape, using words like “round,” “angular,” etc.

I know of at least two winemakers who express their wines in shapes rather than words. In Oregon, Patrick Reuter of Dominio Wines has features his visual tasting notes on the Imagination Series labels. And Jordan Fiorentini of Epoch Wines in Paso Robles draws “Vinpressions,” which are drawings that represent her experience of tasting a wine.

Hopefully these are a good place for you to start coming up with your own system, and readers, let me know if you can think of any others!

—Dr. Vinny

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