Quick Recipes and Easy

The Art of Tasting Wine

When it comes to tasting wine there is a lot of finesse and etiquette involved , but this is no reason to be intimidated and run away! Tasting wine is where all the fun starts. Smelling, sipping, tasting, and drinking! The etiquette in wine tasting exists because taste is entirely affected by smell. Wine has so much to offer our taste buds, so in order to get the whole experience a small ritual must first occur.

1. Color – Take a look. View the wine, examine its color. Each varietal will show similar variances of color so this will be your first clue in determining the right grape. For a sommelier or avid wine junkie, this step can paint a larger picture about the varietal, region, and age of the wine in question while even prepare the participant for what to expect. As an amateur but take a mental picture, admire the beauty the wine beholds and prepare to taste!

2. Swirl – I am quite sure you have seen diners swirling their glasses of wine at least somewhere once. This step is integral to the art of smelling as swirling acts as a catalyst in releasing the wine’s bouquet. A bouquet refers to the overall smell of the wine, and is also known as “the nose”. After a bottle is opened and poured it requires oxygen in order to develop into the treasure it was meant to be. Swirling encourages aeration, allowing more oxygen to get into the wine and release the bouquet. So get swirling!

3. Smell – This step is critical in tasting wine as our sense of taste is excellent, but our sense of smell is much better, in fact on average a person can smell over 2000 various scents! What we smell also affects what we taste so it is vital to take the time to smell the wine before you taste. You will start to notice many different scents that may be hard to differentiate at first. Try opening a few different bottles of white varietals or red varietals and smell each. Notice the differences between them. Does it smell like a particular fruit or spice? Does is smell burnt or like tar? Maybe it smells woody or nutty? By practicing you will be better able to determine different characteristics in the wine and of course be able to determine the varietal straight away.

The last and equally vital part about smelling wine is to identify whether the wine is “off” or in other words terrible. Wine, like most everything, is not perfect all of the time. A nose that reflects the dank smell of a moldy cellar is a sure sign of a “corked wine”. This is the most common fault found in wine caused by a contaminant called TCA which is found mostly in corks but can also reside in wood barrels, walls, and beams. Unfortunately this hideous small impurity can cause a lot of hurt. So use your senses to detect corked wine, and take your hurt bottle back to where you bought it for a refund!

4. Taste – This is not a cue for drinking! This simply means to take a sip and hold it on the palate for at least a few moments. We have thousands of taste buds all over the mouth so it makes sense to allow the wine to find nearly all of them! Go the wine all around the mouth so that it reaches your cheeks and throat. Notice how your taste buds react to the substance. While tasting the wine, consider the following to help determine characteristics.

Sour/Tart: This is determined at the edges of the tongue and back of throat usually signaling acidity.

Sweet: You will experience this taste immediately if there is any residual sugar in the wine as sweetness is determined on the tip of the tongue.

Bitter: This taste is determined at the back of the tongue.

Weight: Felt in the middle of the tongue and around the gums. Light or full?

Tannin: Very astringent sensation felt throughout the mouth especially the gums and teeth. It often coats the taste buds making fruit hard to detect.

The End

Whether you choose to swallow or spit out your taster, be sure to take a small time to review your entire experience with this wine. Really process the journey in order to secure its’ tale into your mental records. Question yourself a few questions and take some tasting notes if you like: What did this wine show you? Did you delight in it? What did you like/dislike about it? Was it well balanced? A well balanced wine is not too much of any one taste, flavor, or sensation; it’s just right!

It is also wise to pay attention to how long its’ presence lasts in your mouth. This is known as the length of the wine. A fantastic wine can last for several minutes!

Like any sport or leisure activity, practice makes perfect; the more you taste the more knowledge you’ll gain on this quenching subject.

Jennie Wills has been a hospitality expert for 10 years whose passion for home renovation, food and drink has lead to the successful launch of thesexykitchen.com thesexykitchen.com; a web-site dedicated to kitchen design, renovation, party plotting, hospitality and much more. Perhaps you have a passion or leisure activity you’d like to write about. Learn how to turn your passion into a successful website, visit succeed-from-your-passion.com succeed-from-your-passion.com to learn how.

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