IN THE days when John Platter wrote his eponymous guide, his wife Erica had the thankless task of editing the text. Until the 1990s, he still did all of the tasting. However, as the number of producers began rising when the era of isolation drew to a close, he shared the burden with a few of us.Briefing sessions ahead of the annual tasting marathon were largely conducted by Erica — who wanted to make sure that we toed the line when it came to the guide’s rules of Winespeak. I recall a particularly intense discussion around the term "mouthfeel". As far as Erica was concerned, it was irrelevant to readers of the guide.It was an interesting debate, and one that has become increasingly apposite. Wine, after all, is as much subject to fashion as any other consumer commodity. Twenty years ago, the focus was much more on aroma, and on the taste sensations of sweet, sour, salt and bitter.Nowadays, mouthfeel has become mainstream: some wines are more viscous than others, tannins can be coars...

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