For the past few years, I have been posting my Top-Rated White, Sparkling, and Red wines for the current year of tasting. This year I posted my Top-Rated wines for 2018. My articles with ratings:
- MyWinePal Top 5 Star Rated Red Wines for 2018
- MyWinePal Top 5 Star Rated White and Sparkling Wines for 2018
I categorized the wines according to country or region. I have a category for BC White and for BC Red wines, and for Old World Red wines, for example. I wondered though, is what I like from a BC Red wine the same as what I like for an Old World Red wine? Do I use different descriptors for wines from different regions? Putting on my Data Scientist hat, I generated Word Clouds using up to 400 words for each of the different categories of wines to see which words were the most prominent. Note if I chose 500 or 600 words, the word clouds may differ, but I based the number of words on the category with the fewest wines rated, thus the fewest words.
Are there be significant differences in my wine preferences? Let’s dive in and see.
Top Rated White and Sparkling Wines Word Clouds
For this comparison I only had BC sparkling wines and Old World sparkling wines. I did have 1 sparkling wine from California, but that would not have made a statistically significant word cloud.
Chardonnay shows up quite large in both; A little larger for the Old World wines. Maybe I am more a Blanc de Blancs bubble lover? Creamy also shows up, and I do like a creamy mouthfeel to the bubbles. Apples also shows up in both, as does acidity. What is a good bubble without good acidity? Some differences I see is that in the BC sparkling wine that pears, stone fruit, nuttiness and toasty shows up, while I do not notice it in the Old World sparkling. In the Old World sparkling the terms mineral, citrus, dry, floral and cherries show up much larger. From this I would say that there is a certain style that I seem to appreciate more; Blanc de Blancs with creamy bubble, apple flavour, and nice acidity. And differences between regions, which can be caused by their unique terroirs. BC appears to show more stone fruit flavours, and toastiness from oak barrels, while Old World is more mineral, citrus, floral and dry.
Still White Wines
In these word clouds, I have BC, New World, and Old World still white wines.
Chardonnay shows up large for BC and New World white wines, and a little smaller for Old World white wines. That being said, Chenin Blanc shows up quite large in the Old World white wines and is not found in either the BC or the New World wines. Riesling shows up fairly large for BC wines and for Old World wines. I did not notice it for the New World wines. For flavours, “tropical” stands out in all three wine regions. Pear aromas/flavours are common to BC and New World wines. Acidity shows up for all three wine regions. Crisp acidity is enjoyable in white wines, but so is some oak (shows up in all three word clouds) and its related flavours and aromas. Butterscotch shows up fairly large for the BC and New World wines, but not for Old World wines. The Old and New World wines do show vanilla. Minerality is large in Old World wines, and that translates to the term Salty that I have in the BC wines.
For white wines, it appears that I prefer Chardonnay and Riesling wines in general, and Chenin Blanc from Old World wines. I do enjoy tropical fruit flavours and aromas, as well as pears. Acidity is again important to me. I also do enjoy some oak component, whether it shows up as oak or a related flavour like butterscotch or vanilla. I also like salty minerality in my white wines.
Top Rated Red Wines Word Clouds
I have BC, New World, and Old World red wines in my final set of word clouds.
The term “tannins” does appear fairly large in all three categories, so I do pay attention to the amount of tannins and how much structure they impart to red wines. Ripe shows up for all three as well, and I do like red wines showing ripe fruit flavours. Merlot shows up as the main grape for BC wines, but as I mentioned earlier, if I had chosen a larger sample size, e.g. 500 or 600 words, I think that Pinot Noir would show up larger for BC wine, as that is a grape variety I really enjoy from BC. For the New World, Sauvignon and Pinot show up large. Likely Cabernet Sauvignon but also possibly Cabernet Franc. Pinot would be Pinot Noir. For the Old World, a grape variety does not show up large, but the term Barolo does show up, and that comes from the Nebbiolo grape. The Masi winery also shows up, and they produce Valpolicella wines. Italy also shows up, and it is true that I do like Italian wines. For BC wines, red and black fruit, raspberries, floral, spices, and nutmeg are prominent. For New World wines, sweet, red and black fruit, vanilla, floral, and spices show up large. For Old World wines, cherries, black fruit, vanilla, spices, and plums are more prominent.
Overall I can say that I appear to enjoy red wines with good tannic structure, ripe fruit flavours (both red and black fruits), and sweet spices.
I hope you enjoyed this slightly geeky view of my wine preferences and how they are similar and differ between regions around the world. If you haven’t had the chance, please read my Top Rated Wines for 2018. The links are at the top of this article. Thanks.