Out of nowhere, vintners began to love the word – suggesting wines were drawing their flavour straight out of flint, slate or limestone.
There’s just one problem. All that rock talk doesn’t hold water. At a gathering of the Geological Society of America in Portland, Ore., three years ago, scientists pronounced that the mineral content in wine is below the threshold of human taste and smell. There is more calcium and magnesium, for example, in S. Pellegrino mineral water than in a typical glass of chardonnay. In fact, if you add minerals in concentrations typically found in wine to distilled water, humans can’t detect their presence.