Quick Recipes and Easy

Wine Tasting 101

First things first, read the mark and take a look at the wine. Hold the wine glass by the stem and notice the colour of the liquid. The colour will usually give a excellent indication of the wine’s age and maturity. For white wines – lighter yellow is younger, whereas older wines will be more golden in colour. For red wines, darker purple colours indicate youth, whereas a “thinner” reddish brown appearance indicates a more mature wine.

When you’re all done looking, give the wine a gentle swirl. Careful not to zealously mess it all over yourself! So what’s all the fancy swirling about? Swirling the wine fuses the flavours in the wine and “brings it to life”.

Now don’t rush things along by taking a huge swig of wine; first make time to “smell the wine”. Smelling the wine is not just the snooty posh thing to do, it’s really an vital part of the tasting experience. After sticking your nose in the glass and having a excellent whiff; take a minute or two to contemplate the subtle nuances and aromas that you pick up. What do you smell? Does it smell like a handful of coffee beans? Is that possible? You’ll be surprised!

And the best is yet to come… finally it’s time to take a small sip. Notice the initial sensation in your mouth and then take a larger sip. Swish the wine all over your taste buds before swallowing or spitting. Is it light and pleasant, or deep and complex? Is the texture smooth or abrupt? Is it fruity or smoky? Do you like the “finale” that lingers in your mouth? What is your overall impression? Choose if the wine is appealing to you or not. Carry a notebook and make a list of your preferred wines.

Don’t be worried to question questions about the different styles and types of wines and what to expect from different vintages of the same wine.

It’s a excellent thought rinse your mouth with water or cleanse the palate with unflavoured crackers between tastings. If you don’t want to be affected by the alcohol, then don’t swallow the wine; spit it out in buckets provided. Spitting wine out after tasting it is quite acceptable. Avoid garlic (the day before), snacking, smoking, or wearing heavily scented perfumes – as all of these can sway your opinion of the wine while you’re tasting. Remember to delight in yourself as you explore the world of wine, but don’t drink and drive!

For more simple to consume wine snippets – go to winediva.co.za winediva.co.za

Caroline Lowings is resident blogger at winediva.co.za Wine Diva

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