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The Boston Globe

Food & dining


Among wine lovers, the word is minerality

Next time you are in a restaurant where the wine list is taken a bit seriously, eavesdrop on what the sommelier has to say as she moves from table to table. The word you’ll hear over and over is “minerality’’ - or one of its numerous equivalents: granite, limestone, tufa, slate, shale, schist. It’s as if American taste and sophistication grew up overnight. It’s not just about fruit anymore.

This is wonderful news for diners, because fruit-driven wines, though often gratifying sipped on their own, have always been problematic to pair with food, and it is a grand turn of events for the wine enthusiast who struggles to find things consonant with adult taste when he spreads a white linen napkin across his lap. Soon every establishment worth its wine will have a consulting geologist roaming the floor, rock samples in hand, tiny silver hammer tucked where a pocket square used to be.

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