Speak Wine Like a Swartland Master


Having recently spent a day tasting wine in the Swartland, I can attest to a refreshing, vital and authentic wine culture in that neck of the wheatlands. The characters are a colourful and engaging combination of rural and hip with an irreverent – yet brooding and serious – calmness in their original approach to wine.

Tomes have been written about the Swartland of late, and I find it hard to add to the narrative as I am not intelligent, philosophical or good-looking enough. However, not much has been said about the dialect spoken in this wine region. The dialect is like the characters: engaging and real. But things do tend to get lost in translation. Especially when it comes to formal wine terms.

Therefore I have offered a translation of the most common wine-terms which may be useful during a visit or when bumping into a Swartland citizen in craft beer hall or a T-shirt shop.

Normal winespeak                   Swartland talk

Floral nose                                      Moffie-klank

Fruit-driven                                    Klapped with a paw-paw

Minerality                                        Level with the gravel

Lengthy aftertaste                          Gooi a bit of deep throat

Over-oaked                                      Stellenbosch wank

Plush and juicy                                Jags

Harsh tannins                                  Too much holhaar

Refined                                              Gives me a boner

Oxidised                                            Fokken A!

Balanced                                            Got its shit together

High alcohol                                     Maak ‘n Zolpyp

Grip                                                     Kap ‘n dratie

Flabby                                                Dik-gevriet

Perfect                                                Tim James

Austere                                                Full of kak

Astringent                                          Needs a good pomp

Crisp                                                    Aitsa!

Complexity                                         Watdefok

Sauvignon Blanc                               Perdepis

Brett                                                     Zimbo arm-pit

This is what I could muster so far, largely due to my limited exposure. But for the more experienced, please send suggestions so we can complete the narrative.

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2 thoughts on “Speak Wine Like a Swartland Master

  1. Terroir – lêplek
    Old Bush vine – wingerdkoors
    Chenin Blanc – Holy water
    Green – ready to go
    KWV – capitalist institution
    Eben Sadie – The Messiah
    Adi Badenhorst – Pappa Beer
    Young Guns – die jong latte
    Shiraz – seriously good shit
    Cinsaut – Love child
    Veritas awards – the Illuminati

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