When describing wine, most descriptions fall into the category of pre-existing flavors.
Wine can be berry-like, have notes of liquorice and hints of spice. But none of this language addresses what I call yum factor.
My yum factor test is straightforward, yet highly scientific: does the wine you drink make you say “Yum” out loud? If it does, it has quantifiably high yum factor. If not, well, you might want to conduct an experiment with a different wine variable.
One of my highest-scoring yum factor investigations occurred when opening A to Z Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon. In fact, this is the bottle that started the yum factor scoring system.
A to Z has bright cherry and currant on the nose and an inviting transparent crimson color. The juicy berry flavor and silky tannic structure are certainly the hallmark of a delicious Northwest pinot noir, but A to Z has notes of spice and floral characteristics that add an intriguing depth and complexity. All of this adds up to a yum factor score of N-67.47, an off-the-charts rating for a pinot under $20.
I recommend this empirically delicious Oregon pinot noir with grilled focaccia Reuben sandwiches, chopped lamb steak with garlic spinach or margherita pizza.