Madeline Blasbery, Wine Columnist for the Menuism Wine Blog talks terroir and its meaning.
In wine jargon, terroir is a term that is trending amongst oenophiles and befuddling wine novices. Though the frilly French pronunciation (ter-wahr) may scare you off, it’s actually a useful term that will help you become a savvy wine drinker — and earn a few wine vocab points along the way.
Terroir comes from the Latin root meaning “earth” and refers to the collection of environmental elements that give wine a sense of place.
Though the term was tossed around in the 17th Century, terroir became a hit in 1831, thanks to Dr. Denis Morelot, a wealthy landowner in Burgundy. Morelot did not understand why, if all the wines in Burgundy were made in essentially the same way, how there could be differences in quality.