While your body is your temple, you’ve got to find the right ways to let your hair down. Sometimes it’s about eating that cake, but on the other hand, you might want to find a vice that’s a little bit more sociable and upmarket. While wine tasting can be seen as quite an elitist thing, it’s very easy to get into wine tasting now. Most places offer an evening where you can sample various cheeses with delicious wines. It’s another string to your social bow, if you will. But if you want to know how to begin wine tasting, it’s very simple…
Examine The Wine In The Glass
Look at the wine against a white background, and make sure that the lighting is good. Look at the color, clarity, and the brightness. With something like a red wine, such as merlot or claret, there can be an array of colors, from light cherry pink to deep purple. White wines like cabernet sauvignon can go from a greeny-yellow all the way through to gold. And rosés, like an OZV Zinfandel, can come in various colors, from pale pink to a dark cherry color. By looking at the wine, you can learn a lot about its age.
Getting the aroma or bouquet of the wine is a great part of the experience. You may have seen wine drinkers swirling their glass, this aims to oxygenate it, and release the volatile compounds in the wine. Once you examine the wine and swirl it, put your nose in and inhale. Part of the fun is identifying the types of fruits that you can make out. You could find citrus fruits like lemon or lime in white wine, or in a red, you could note more raspberry or strawberry flavors. But in addition to the fruits, you could pick up other aspects, like spices, such as nutmeg. All of these things will reveal if the wine comes from a specific climate, and what sort of oak barrel has been used to age the drink. Make a note of how intense the smell is. If you feel that you have to really concentrate to identify anything, this generally means that it’s a better wine because it is so complex in terms of flavors. It can be hard work to identify all of the different flavors, but this is part of the fun.
Now We Taste!
It’s not about gulping it down! Take a small sip, and work it all the way around your mouth, so this touches all of the different taste receptors. Balance it on your tongue, and push it through to the top of your mouth beyond your top teeth. You can identify if the wine is sweet, balanced, or overwhelming. The acidity or bitterness can highlight how pleasant the wine is. In addition to this, tannins are very important, and can be a vital aspect of the taste. And also, ensure that you note how the wine finishes. Does the taste linger afterward? A great wine has layers of different flavors but wines of lesser quality are described as having a “short” finish.
In a nutshell, that is it. Don’t think of wine tasting as a very hoity-toity thing, it’s a great way to get people around and enjoy each other’s company with a great drink. Just don’t chew gum!
Are you a wine drinker? If so, what’s your favorite wine? Let me know in the comments below!