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Wine Tasting – The Art Of Grading Wine

A degree in Oenology, the science of winemaking, is not required in order to know the art of wine tasting. One need not be confused by the terminology used by professional wine tasters such as: clarity, bouquet, earthly, open, crisp or nostalgic. All that is required is to tune your senses and to become familiar with various definitions on well-known words.

Serving Wine

When first starting out, it is a excellent ideal to allow someone who is more knowledgeable to choose on how to serve the wine. To buy the skills of wine serving you will need to gain a small more experience and education to start. White wines in general need to be served chilled, while red wines are usually served at room temperature. Serving wine chilled does not mean frozen; but usually starts at 50F and can be adjusted to taste. Room temperature usually refers to a slightly cooler room, approximately 60F.

Red wine (with the exception of a few brands) should be allowed to breathe first before serving. They should sit in an uncorked bottle and exposed to air for approximately 15 minutes or more. In general white wine should be served straight away but there are also various brands of white wine that don’t adhere to this rule. There are also wines that require decanting. This is the process of filtering out the sediments before serving. Wines that have aged considerably and ports may require decanting before serving them.

An ordinary wine glass should be used when pouring wine as opposed to a heavy cut glass where visibility can be poor. You want to make sure to fill it approximately half full. Next you want to swirl the wine a bit to generate an additional winey vapour.

The Scent Of A Wine

Examine the color traits of the wine. Is it Hazy? Opaque? Clear? Take a small sniff and waft the wine vapors into the nose rather then directly holding your nose over the opening of the glass. To help you truly experience the wine you may want to close your eyes to allow you to focus on one or two senses at a time such as taste and smell over the sense of sight. There are even experts who misidentify wines during blind taste testing.

Next you want to try to identify the odour. Does the wine have a fruity smell similar to apples, oranges or grapes? Wines such as Merlots or Cabernet Sauvignon evoke the woody smell of pine or cedar needles. Syrah wines have been known to diffuse a floral or ground black pepper scent; while Chardonnay’s that are aged in oak, can remind one of figs or apples. One can argue that the scent of a wine is purely subjective, but there is often a wide agreement amongst amateurs and experts alike, although impressions differ on some degree.

Wine Tasting

The tongue has many different areas that are attuned to various types of tastes. Some areas of the tongue are more attuned to salty or sour tastes, while others attuned to sweet tastes. You want to take a sip of the wine and make sure you run it around the tongue to stimulate the many different kinds of taste buds. Some of the characteristics when tasting various brands of wines may include:

Pinot Noir – from Burgundy may arise a violet taste.

Zinfandel – this wine may remind you of berries.

Gewurztraminer – evokes peaches.

Chenin Blanc – orange blossom taste.

When moving on to tasting another wine you want to make sure to end or set aside the wine you have just tested, and to come back on another day. Don’t try to many or too much wine at one time. Ideally one brand of wine is preferred per day, but this can be a slow way to learn. You certainly do not want to try any more than three wines in one day. This may hinder your ability to discern differences in different types of wine.

On the next day you may want to try different red wines. Try to concentrate on sensing that oak storage cask. You will find some California reds to have hints and traces of coffee of chocolate. If you favour stronger scents you may want to try a fine Merlot. They carry a tarry quality.

Remember a excellent fine wine will not hit the nose over the head, so to speak. Above all the key is subtlety when tasting wine.

About the Author

Joseph Wilson is freelance writer who has written a number of wine reviews. He has featured a number of guides and tips on: best-wine-reviews.com/index.html wine tasting, best-wine-reviews.com/wine-reviews-news.html wine making and the best-wine-reviews.com/wine-reviews-articles.html best wine reviews.

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