Attending a wine tasting can be a fun event and one that is educational. You may learn about a new wine or discover a flavor you didn’t know you liked. To get the most out of a wine tasting, you should follow these tips.
Look at the Wine First
Before you taste the wine, take a long look at what’s in the glass. First, look down into the glass. You’ll get an idea what kind of grapes were used based on the color. A dark, black-purple suggests Zinfandel or Syrah grapes. A lighter shade might be Pinot Noir.
Once you’ve finished the straight-on view, look at it from the side. If the wine appears murky, it may indicate issues with fermentation. The best wine is clear and has some sparkle.
A third way to view the wine is by tilting the glass. Notice the edge to see if it’s pale and looks watery. If so, it may be a thin wine. A brown color for white wine or orange with a red wine suggests that it is older and may even be past its prime.
When you swirl the glass, pay attention to whether there are tears that run down the glass. If so, this indicates a higher alcohol content. It is also likely denser.
Trust Your Nose
The second step before you taste a wine is to smell it. An important tip is in how you sniff. Use short sniffs rather than trying to breathe it in. If it smells musty, the wine is spoiled. A vinegary smell shows too much acidity. The smell of yeast makes red wines have an earthy flavor, but too much takes away from the other flavors.
While you might not be able to identify all of the aromas from the various wines, you should be able to break it down into categories. You may notice one of the following fragrances, which will tell you what is in the wine:
· Flower, herbs and spices
An aroma of vanilla, chocolate, nuts or caramel, it is possibly the type of barrel where the wine was aged. Not only the wood of the barrel, but how it is used and the age will impact the flavor of the wine.
The Taste Test
The following tips will help you learn the most about a wine when you are finally ready to taste it. First, take a little sip and hold it in your mouth. You’ll get more variety in the flavors, which will help confirm what you decided on when you did the sniff test.
If you can’t quite decide what flavors are in the wine, it is not necessarily an indication on your lack of expertise. It could instead show the complexity of the wine. A wine that is complex changes flavors constantly.
Don’t move on to the next wine too soon. It takes some time to learn all of the information that a wine can provide, so linger over each glass as you taste it.
Whether you attend a formal wine tasting or just want to learn more about the wine you order with dinner, these tips will help you become a wine connoisseur. You’ll also develop the ability to know what kind of wines are most appealing to your palette.