How to read tasting notes (light red wines)

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What do wine tasters mean by "food wines" ? What does it suggest if a wine is "brick red"? Let’s learn a couple of terms used to describe light red wines.

•brick red - denotes the absence of violet or purple colours of some very young wines, more a lack of intensity than a sense of maturity

•rose-like - a delicate aroma, yet with a certain ripeness, always floral

•attack - the strong first impression, one that jumps out of the glass

•second nose - the more studied reflection gained by swirling the wine in the glass to release more than it does on the first impression

•cherry-like - unless cited as 'black cherries' which carry a definite impression of ripeness, cherry-like indicates firm, vibrant fruit with a touch of acidity and none of the sweetness of, say, blackcurrants

•wood - a sense of firmness and tannin, as opposed to 'oaky', which refers to the new casks in which the wine will have been aged

•bitter almonds - often associated with cherries, a certain fruity bitterness, more refreshing than unpleasant

•food - wines with exuberant, unrestrained fruit do not go well with food, for their fruitiness dominates. A 'food wine' is one that complements a meal

The wine: Allegrini, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 1998

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