tasting wine

tasting wine

(mainly for #twebt, but the principles are the same)

We do run through a sequence when we taste. This is applicable to tasting any wine, not just mystery bottles ๐Ÿ™‚ Once you’ve opened and poured the wineย  you check:

  • the colour
  • the smell
  • the taste

You start by looking at the colour of the wine. You might want to have something white behind the glass for this bit. Just swirl the wine in the glass and look at the colour of the wine. You can start to get an idea of how old the wine is by how deeply coloured it is and how “see-through” the wine is. The thinner or lighter coloured it is the older generally.

Once you’ve decided on the colour, check the nose. Swirl the wine in the glass to stir it up and allow the aroma to fill the glass. Stick your nose into the glass and see what you can smell. Try to identify flavours or scents e.g. can you smell berries or pears? Different wines have different characteristics, so you’re looking for particular smells that can help you to guess what the wine is. Take as long as you need – keep on swirling the glass to keep the smell active.

Finally, tase the wine. This is the slurpy part. Take a mouthfull of wine, carefully inhale some air over the wine in your mouth and see what you can taste. Let the wine sit in your mouth for a few seconds, and swallow it. See what you can taste, see does it feel thick or full bodied, is there length (a long taste or even an after taste). You can repeat this step as often as you like ๐Ÿ™‚

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust have a brilliant SAT (Systematic Approach to Tasting) document (pdf) which helps you to turn your notes from above into a guess.

It’s a good idea to print this off and mark off your thoughts on the sheet. Then you can try to find wines that match what you taste.

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