Noun ˈ vintij
vintage noun; vintages plural noun
the year or place in which wine, especially wine of high quality, was produced.
French: vendange, récolte, millésime
Spanish: cosecha, vendimia
Not all wine critics think about vintage as something to be lauded or criticized. Author and wine educator Karen MacNeil shares a great video about how she thinks about vintage.
For me, vintage should be viewed as a characteristic of the wine. Much in the same way we search for oaked or unoaked chardonnay, big cabernet or juicy merlot, we could just as easily be asking for wine from a cool or hot vintage. I agree with Ms. MacNeil that there aren’t really good or bad vintages, but instead, each vintage serves a different purpose. A good winemaker will know how to react to changing weather in order to make the best wine possible with what she is given. So next time you are looking for a wine, instead of considering weather 2010 was a good or a bad year, think instead about the type of wine you are looking for. If you want a big, bold over-the-top wine, look for wine from a region that had a very hot, dry year. If you’re looking for something more understated, look for wine from a cooler, rainier year (which will quite possibly be less expensive) . As with everything in wine, it does take some time to learn which years were which, but the more you experiment, the easier it will become.