Posted by: garispang | April 17, 2009

8 Steps to Being A Wine Connoisseur

wine-glass-pour

Wine Tasting, Easier Than You Think

Wine tasting is not as difficult as most think. To master the techniques does take a lot of experience. However, the basics can be taught very quickly. Once you have these eight techniques down you will already be way ahead of the game. Wines have varying appearances, smells, and tastes. So I have seperated this guide accordingly.

 

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Appearance

1. Look at the wine directly from above, be sure the glass is vertical and has a white background. Look for clarity, brightness, and depth of color.
2. Now tilt the glass to view the wine at an angle, keeping the white back ground. Look for the hue at the ‘core’ of the wine. Also not any difference in the hue at the rim.

 

tilt-smell-300x234Smell

Without swirling the wine, smell it. Note the intensity, cleanness, grape variety, new oak finesse, and persistence.
Now swirl the whine and smell it immediately while it settles. Here, note the differences from the still state. There may be a progression of scents as it subsides. Also note the overall quality.
A good strong swirl.

 

 

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1. Now for the fun part. Sip about a large teaspoonfull. Work the wine round your mouth. Then aerate, consider the taste, and swallow- although spitting is sometimes appropriate. Note the overall dimensions of the wine. This might include the balance of alcohol, acid, tannin (in red wines), and depth of flavor.
2. Now retaste. Alternate between working the wine gently round your palate, aerating , and swallowing a little for as long as you are interested. Now you should note actual flavors, qualities, and lengths. Look for the individual tastes and aromas. Feel the ‘texture’ (especially in reds), and the way in which the wine holds up in the mouth. Then note the length of the wine.
3. Finally, spit out the wine by pursing your lips and pushing the wine out with your tongue.
4. Repeat. Responsibly.

 

wine_barrel

That’s it! Those are the basics. Some wine lingo was used in our guide. I have provided the meanings to those and other essentials here.

1. Acidity- Natural acids in wine. A critical part of wine, it is imperative for freshnes, flavor, aging, and providing balance to contrasting elements. It usually refers to the citric, malic, tartaric, and lactic acids in wine.
2. Aroma- Generally the particular small of the grape variety. Some examples are appley, raisiny, fresh, and tired.
3. Brilliant- refers to a wine of absolute clarity. Most wines are highly filtered and therefore brilliant. However, the process of filtration can ruin a fine wine by stripping much of the flavor and character from it.
4. Crisp- Refers to a white wine with sharp, zesty acidity.
5. Tannin- This is derived from the skins, stalks, and seeds of grapes, as well as the oak barrels used for aging. Tannin accounts for a wine’s astringency and is important for aging.

If interested to learn more about wine tasting, Thomas Matthews’ The ABC’s of Wine Tasting is a great resource. Also, many companies offer ‘tutored tastings’. The Wine Society offers their’s share as well. Good luck and happy tasting!

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