Wine: Get your côtes on

The subtleties of language and translation can be summed up in the word ‘côtes’, used to designate several different kinds of wine-producing terrain.

10th August, 2014
St-Joseph in the northern Rhône region of France: the word côtes usually signifies a set of hilly vineyards surrounding a flatter area.

Language is a tricky thing. The ubiquity of Google Translate is giving the impression that translation is a problem solvable by algorithm. Yet understanding language is an art, not a science. Language is nuanced, fluid and subtle, and in constant flux.

The French word côtes is one such example of the nuance of language, and it is a word that intrigues wine lovers. It can indicate the availability of potential bargains adjacent to a well-known...

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