How To Taste Wine: The Best Tricks
Learning how to taste wine is an acquired skill. It utilizes several senses and you might be surprised to know that taste isn’t necessarily the most important one. Wine tasting is also about smelling and even viewing the wine from certain angles.
Tasting wine also has a lot to do with the wine’s temperature, age, color, and other characteristics. If you want to know how to wine taste but don’t know where to start, keep reading more below.
How to Taste Wine: Look
Many people don’t realize that visualization is a big part of tasting wine. This is because the color and opacity of your wine can tell you a lot about it and its quality. For example, an aged white wine will look more oaken and an aged red wine will not be as deep or as red as it was originally.
Once you become a skilled wine enthusiast, you will even be able to tell what type of wine you’re dealing with just by admiring the color. Pinot noir, for example, is usually a perfect ruby-red throughout. Other red wines may look similar at first, but upon closer inspection, you will find that the red becomes more orange around the rim of the wine glass.
You can also tell how much alcohol the wine contains just by looking at it. When you swirl the wine in a glass, note how the wine sticks to the glass. If it seems thick and streams down the glass in thick “legs,” then the wine will contain a higher alcohol content. Thinner wine legs mean that the wine does not have as much alcohol.
Smelling wine is arguably more important than even tasting it. This is because the aroma of good wine can tell you all about its different hints and notes. By smelling a glass of wine, you are essentially giving yourself a first impression of the wine before you even taste it. This is important because if you gulp down wine without smelling it first, you’ll find that it won’t taste like much.
Picking out the aromas of wine can take some time. I personally have a hard time with the task since I don’t have a very well-developed sense of smell. The main thing you need to keep in mind is to be patient. Taking a quick whiff isn’t going to tell you much.
Instead, try to take slow, deep breaths with your nose at the rim of the glass. Wine contains more than a hundred different chemical compounds which all contribute to its smell. For that reason, some people may smell different things when smelling the same wine. There are three main types of wine aromas: primary aromas from the grapes themselves, secondary aromas from the fermentation process, and tertiary aromas from age or oxidation.
Combined, these aromas can give you hints of leather, daisies, plums, mushrooms, dried apricots, and more.
Once you take a sip of wine, you will find how the flavor correlates with the wine’s smell. When tasting, there are several factors you will need to consider: sweetness, tannins, acidity, body, and aftertaste.
Sweetness is one of the most obvious factors. If you are drinking a very acidic wine, there won’t be much sweetness to it. Dry wine also doesn’t contain much sugar, usually no more than 10 g. There are some wines that are so sugary that their consistency is actually similar to that of syrup.
The body of the wine is especially important. It has to do with the wine’s texture. As mentioned before, a wine that contains more alcohol will usually be thicker, though high sugar content can also contribute to this.
About 20 seconds after drinking wine, you will notice the finish or aftertaste of the wine. This finish will tell you a bit more about what kind of flavors the wine is hiding. After picking out the appearance, aroma, and flavor of the wine, you should be able to obtain all sorts of information about it.
As you taste different wines, you will eventually build these skills. One day, with enough wine tasting at home, you might even be on par with professional wine tasters! To get some fine wine for yourself, click here.
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