Quick Recipes and Easy

How To Get More Out Of A Glass Of Wine

A quick preliminary: poor yourself a glass of wine, take a sip and swallow it down. What did you reckon? Flavoursome? Probably not.

Now take that same glass of wine, swirl the liquid around the glass and take a huge sniff. Take another sip but this time go it around your mouth, concentrating on it. Then swallow, and notice the change in the aftertaste. Notice the difference? A much richer experience can be achieved from the same glass of wine by drinking it right.

Drinking and appreciating wine is all about three senses: sight, smell and, of course, taste.

Looking at wine
OK, take that same glass of wine and examine it, swilling it around the glass as you do. You’re looking for three things: colour, clarity and density. With reds, a bluey tint indicates a young wine while a reddish-brown hue indicates age. With whites, a pale, watery wine is likely to be dry and unoaked, whereas a yellowy-gold wine is probably sweet and oaked. As you swirl the wine, look for the ‘legs’ – the vertical trails of wine left on the inside of the glass. The more pronounced the legs, the denser the wine, and generally the higher the alcohol content.

Smelling wine
Swish the wine around the glass, stick your nose right in and take a couple of huge sniffs. Try and describe the aroma in your own words. Is it rich or bland? Fresh or dull? what flavours (particularly fruit flavours) can you identify? Is it sweet? Spicy? Try and be creative and just say what you smell. There really is no right or incorrect – the aim at this stage is for you to build up a vocabulary and basis for comparison when describing what you experience.
Tasting wine

As before, swirl the wine around your mouth, sucking in a bit of air as you do – this releases the most flavour in the wine. Again, try to describe what you taste. Reckon of its texture – is it thick or thin, does it stick to your mouth and teeth? Is it ‘chewy’ (indicating the presence of tannins)? What fruit or other flavours can you recognise? How does the wine’s taste compare to how it smells? And most importantly, do you like it?

So that’s it – you’ve just completed your first wine tasting! Try this process with a number of different types of wine, perhaps jotting down your thoughts, and build up a knowledge of what type of wines you like best. How to wine has a massive amount of information on all aspects of wine, handily organised into sections. Use it to continue your journey into the wonderful world of wine.

Rob Percival runs

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