20 May Tips on How to Taste Wine like a Pro
When it comes to wine drinking, every wine lover, even a novice wants to ensure they are doing things the right way. It’s why they connect with wine aficionados, check out wine forums and connect with people from online wine communities and attend wine tastings etc. Here are a few pointers to how to taste wine like a pro:
The Right Way to Hold your Wine Glass
The proper method of holding your wine glass is by the stem. When you hold it by its bowl, you end up warming the glass, with your body temperature. Every wine has to be served at its optimal temperature to bring out its best flavours and aromas; and the unintentional warming will only impact that. Take a look at how you should taste wine like a pro:
Professional wine tasting can easily be broken-down into 3 simple steps- Observe, and Smell and then Taste.
First, simply tilt your glass with the wine in it, a little. This will help you get a view of the core colour and the colour of the rim. It’s best that you do this against any white background as it will help you get an objective view.
- The things you have to look for are Clarity and Colour.
- The other thing to notice are the legs of the wine. It’s a mistaken belief that legs/tears are an indication of the wine’s quality. This generally occurs when the alcohol evaporates at a fast rate and its surface tension is lower than water.
- Check whether there is dark residual sedimentation. This is quite common in mature wines. While this doesn’t impact the wine in any way, most wine lovers will decant the wine to ensure these sediments are filtered.
- If you are drinking champagne or any other sparkling wine observe how the bubbles in the glass are. A good quality wine generally has tiny beads and the pertillence will also be consistent.
Swirl the wine in the glass gently in one direction. When you swirl the glass, it increases the surface area of the wine and allows it to imbibe more oxygen. In turn, this helps release the aromatic molecules in the wine and provides an enriching tasting experience. The things you should look out for are:
- In order to check how clean the wine is, give it a quick sniff. If it smells fresh and fruity, it’s an indication of a good wine. The common aroma categories you can expect are floral, fruit, oak, vegetal and herbal.
- If you find notes of paper cartons or even a sherry aroma, it’s an indication that the wine is bad.
Take a large, generous sip and then slowly swirl the wine all round your tongue. Only when you swirl will you be able to taste the different flavours of sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness. The things to look out for are:
- Ascertain whether the weight of the wine is full-bodied, medium-bodied or light bodied.
- Most red wines tend to be ‘dry’ and aren’t necessarily sweet
- The level of heat you feel towards the back of your throat indicates what the alcohol content of the wine is. If the alcohol content is higher, it will feel warmer when it slides down the back of the throat.
- A highly tannic wine tends to leave a dry feeling in your mouth as you will also feel like your lips are sticking to your gums. For example, a Cabernet Sauvignon is more tannic than a Pinot Noir.
- You should also check the wine for acidity – a higher acidity level gives the wine a better backbone and you will find it more fresh and crisp
- Understand how long the wine lingers in your mouth after you have swallowed it. The longer the flavour lasts, the better the wine. The finish of the wine describes what its character is.
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