A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 29, 2013
Minerality

"Minerality” is defined by the Wikipedia ("Wine tasting descriptors") as “A sense of mineral-ness in the wine, flavors of slate, schist, silex, etc.” The Oxford English Dictionary revised its “minerality” definition in 2002, but there is no definition explaining the minerality of wine. An 1891 citation defines “minerality” as “the quality of a water containing mineral salts” and the OED labels the word as “rare.”

“The flavors are extremely concentrated and there is a depth and minerality to the flavor (of Old Vine Zinfindel—ed.)” was cited in print in 1996. “Minerality” became a popular food blog subject in 2012-13. “Wine Words: Minerality” was posted on theKitchn in March 2012, “Wine Jargon: What is Minerality?” was posted on Serious Eats in April 2013, and “Is Judging Wine By Its ‘Minerality’ Total B.S.?” was posted on Food Republic in May 2013 (where “minerality” was said to be “a hot buzzword in wine these days"). The articles state that wine professionals can have substantial disagreements about the definition and degree of a wine’s minerality.


Wikipedia: Wine tasting descriptors
Minerality: A sense of mineral-ness in the wine, flavors of slate, schist, silex, etc.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
minerality, n.
rare.
Mineral quality.
1891 New Sydenham Soc. Lexicon, Minerality, the quality of a water containing mineral salts.
1997 M. Khalvati Entries on Light 18 The minerality of Shorelife.

Google Groups: rec.crafts.winemaking
Warren Vidrine
5/3/96
Bruce Faust wrote:
> Does anyone have any history on the Old Vine Zinfindel vines?  I was
> interested on how the variety came about.

As far as I know, there is no special variety by that name.  In California, very old, low-yielding grapevines (some ungrafted and on their own roots!) are prized for the wonderful wines they make.  The flavors are extremely concentrated and there is a depth and minerality to the flavor which may result from the old roots of once-neglected vines digging deep into the subsoil.

21 June 2000, Boston (MA) Globe, “Small-time Sparklers” by Stephen Meuse, pg. E1:
Baumard Carte Turquoise Cremant de Loire is a fine example of a sparkling wine replete with local color - lushly fruity, but with considerable minerality,

Google Books
The Wine Bible
By Karen MacNeil
New York, NY: Workman Pub.
2001
Pg. 370:
This wine clearly shows Maculan in top form. Its sassy mint, lime, and sage flavors are made even more dramatic by a prickly sense of spiciness and minerality.

theKitchn
03.19.12 3:00PM
Wine Words: Minerality
Minerality—a word you hear bandied about by wine tasters and professionals. What exactly is minerality in a wine? What does it taste like? Where does it come from? And, do all wines have it?

Defining Minerality
Unfortunately there is really no real agreement among wine experts or even wine scientists as to how to define minerality in a wine. Some tasters attribute it to the smell or taste of wet stones, crushed rocks, salinity, a flintiness, or even a a savory earthiness…

Serious Eats
Wine Jargon: What is Minerality?
Steven Grubbs
Apr 12, 2013
10:00 AM
(...)
Minerality can be a slippery concept for new wine drinkers, partly because there isn’t a lot in our common culinary language to compare it to. Shellfish? Mushrooms, maybe? Overpriced bottles of acqua minerale?

There is also the fact that minerality comes in so many shifting shades. Often, it is recognizable as a scent, like the smell of river pebbles, hot rocks, or straight-up wet dirt. Other times, what we’re talking about is a flavor, a rocky saltiness, and this can feed into a saline, pasty texture.

Food Republic
May 29, 2013 3:02 pm
Is Judging Wine By Its ‘Minerality’ Total B.S.?
Or, nobody really wants to put rocks in their mouth

By Chantal Martineau
“It’s like licking a wet stone,” your wine-loving friend says. He seems to know what he’s talking about. But why would anyone want to put rocks in his mouth? Minerality is a hot buzzword in wine these days, but like so many descriptors used in wine tasting, it’s tricky to get a grasp on. At least, it’s trickier than, say, berries or citrus or even vanilla or smoke. Minerality is not so much a flavor as it is an essence. A sensation.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, May 29, 2013 • Permalink