It’s a wine word almost everyone uses – but no one really knows what it means, what causes it, or where it’s come from.

It makes some people angry, it leaves others mystified – but some adore the term and can’t get enough of it. 

Is this yet another example in wine of (as one listener calls it), ‘superstition, witchcraft and myth’ that is nothing more than, ‘absolute b*llocks’?!

Welcome to the big ‘minerality’ mystery.

In this episode, we dare to dive headlong into the snakepit of confusion, ambiguity and downright mystery that is the notion of minerality in wine.

But we’re not alone. We’ve recruited the likes of sensory scientist Dr Heber Rodrigues and writer Meg Maker to enlighten us with the latest research and thinking on this intriguing topic.

We ask questions like: what makes a wine mineral? What do people mean by the term? Which wines in particular tend to show mineral characteristics? Is it a good or a bad thing? Is it a vineyard or winemaking phenomenon? 

Ultimately – should we get rid of it, or cherish it?

We taste two wines in order to put our own language under the microscope. There’s an element of mud-slinging and mutual recrimination before we manage (more or less) to define what we mean by minerality.

We also give a final judgement on whether, in our view, minerality should be part of the wine lexicon or not. The result…may surprise you.



Here are the wines we taste in this episode. Click on the wine name for the Wine Searcher link to find where you can buy this wine around the world:

Links etc

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