How to do a Wine Tasting…
Getting to know a little bit more about what you are drinking while learning to appreciate wine is one of life’s finer pleasures. If you learn to appreciate the subtle beauty of wine one step at a time you will be honoring the Vinters’ life work.
When making the selection can be a difficult process however when doing a tasting the selection is not a factor. Being able to distinguish between each wine can be difficult. If you are tasting wine made from similar grapes it can be very difficult to pick up on the different elements in each wine. It is important to note the differences between the color, smell and taste of each wine.
Smell the wine, which is the bouquet. Give the wine a gentle swirl around the glass to expose more of it to the air. Stick your nose into the glass and take a full sniff. Think about the smells coming up from the glass: Young wines will tend to have fruity smells (notes of raspberry or citrus), while older ones will have more complex fragrances (earthy aromas like oak or grass). Smell the wine more than once to pick up all the nuanced notes.
Most red wines start as a deep purple color. As red wine ages, it loses that intensity and becomes paler, like a brick color. The color of a red wine will also yield a bit of information about the kind of grape used. Pinot Noir, for example, tends to be paler than most. The color test also works for white wines, whose colors tend to deepen as they age. After checking the color, give the wine a quick swirl around the glass to check its legs…the oily film that hangs around the inside of the glass after the wine is swirled Legs are only an indicator of alcohol content basically the more legs mean more alcohol.
Taste the wine, be conscious of the fact that you’ll pick up more flavor from the wine by swishing it around in your mouth and paying special attention to the sensations and tastes in the back of your throat. Do yourself a favor and slurp the wine slightly to release all its flavors in your mouth. As it enters your mouth, think about how the taste of the wine changes as it warms up in your mouth. All wines take a few moments to fully develop their flavor once they’re out of the bottle, and they will do the same in your mouth. The finish is the sensation you get from actually swallowing the wine can be very different from the taste you get on your palate. Some wine can linger on after you have swallowed.