A Beginner’s Guide To Wine Tasting
Are you a wine lover and ready to take that plunge by becoming an expert? Wine tasting is not for the frivolous, it is an art. You can follow these simple steps to learning the fine art of knowing your wine.
To begin with, remember the magical four S’s…
When there’s wine, you see, swirl, smell and sip. Yes, in that order.
What you ‘see’ is what you get?
So, what do you ‘see’ in wine? You look for the colour, opacity and viscosity.
The colour of the wine you drink can tell a lot about it. Hold the glass against a white background to make it easier to understand the colour. Wine gets its colour by coming in contact with the grape skin, the longer the duration of the contact, the richer the colour it would be.
For white wines, if the yellow of wine is light, bright and almost clear, taste crisp & refreshing, indicates that they have had minimal contact with grape skin, and likely did not age in the oak barrel. If the colour approaches towards a dark & deep yellow, it indicates that the wine had been aged in oak barrel. This type of wine has a fuller, richer & smoother taste.
For red wines, if the shade swirls towards light red or pink, the taste of wine would be light & fresh, because it wasn’t aged in an oak barrel.
The darker & deeper the hue of the wine gets towards maroon & purple, the bolder & richer it would taste, because of aging in oak barrels.
The opacity of wine is indicative of the type of grapes used in making the wine, and the aging process. Is it easier to see through it and does it appear to be light? Opaque wine appears hazy and unfiltered and a common style of Italian wine. These wines tend to carry richer textures and flavours.
The Viscosity of wine is related to the mouthfeel, it refers to the liquid consistency of wine. It is commonly called as ‘wine legs’ is a result of sugar concentration in the wine. The higher the sugar content, the more viscous the wine will be, which gives it a thicker, chewy and heavier mouthfeel.
Swirl It To Make It Better!
The next step to know your wine is to swirl it. But why do you do that? Swirling calls for some sophisticated physics that makes wine taste better. The experts believe that swirling the glass draws oxygen from the air to wines which are dry because of high tannic acids. It releases the aromas which appeal to the senses as you drink your wine. One important tip to remember though, that you do not have to constantly swirl it before each sip because it becomes messy.
Smell It To Know It Better
As you breathe long into the wine glass, the smell of the wine prepares your brain to register the distinct taste and diverse aromas.
Sip It, Don’t Guzzle It!
You ‘never’ gulp the wine like water or soda. You take a sip and let the wine sit in your mouth for a moment to assess the taste. As the wine lingers in your mouth and touches the taste buds, you can understand whether it tastes bitter, sour or sweet. The experts like to swish it in their mouth to understand the taste better, for example, if it tastes dry, the wine is likely to have a higher content of tannins.
Remember to trust your senses and not be intimidated by how the wine tastes and appeals to your senses. Sit back, relax and enjoy the wine tasting experience as you let the taste and aromas of wine explode your senses.
We wish you a happy wine tasting!