Wine tasting guide
Short wine tasting guide
Tasting wine is much more than drinking it, it implies to discover it, analyze it and enjoy it, all at the same time.
Looking at wine
Hold your glass against something white (a white paper for instance) and tilt it to loot at its colour. Observe carefully and try to remember what you see as it will enable you to compare with other wines in the future. Wines differ on how pale or dark they are.
Young red wines are purple in their edge whilst wines aged in oak barrels for a long time will be closer to orange (due to oxidation). White golden wines indicate normally aging in oak barrel. To summarise, the colour of wine and how dense it is tell us about its age or its body.
A wine can smelll of many things. At the same time, many people try to identify different smells in a wine but they only arrive at describing it as “wine”. Smelling a wine is an exercise that involves practice, concentration and lots of memory. To get the most of your sniffing we recommend you swirl the wine in the glass. To do it without risk, keep the glass on the table and rotate it. The wine will get in contact with the air and its aromas will become more evident.
The first thing we try to do when smelling the wine is to identify if there are bad smells: if the wine smells like vinegar or like damp wood, then there is a problem in it.
The second thing we try to to do is to identify different aromas. This is not easy many times as the aromas (for instance, of banana or strawberries) are not so evident in wine as they are in the products they share these aromas with. Moreover, an aroma is not isolated in a wine, which means different aromas co-exist, and you will have to find them.
There are 3 things we strongly recommend when smelling wine: one is not to be obsessed about it: if you find nothing today, you may quiet well find it tomorrow. Our second advise is that you should enjoy the process, it is not a test, it is not to pretend, it is mainly for pleasure. Our third advise is to encourage you to smell food while eating and preparing it. We have found out, for instance, that it is much easier to differentiate a raspberry smell in a wine if you smell your breakfast raspberry and butter toast deeply and with pleasure.
The taste in mouth
You are finally allowed to taste the wine! There is no need to be a professional wine tasting to taste wine. Our best advise for this is that when you sip your wine, you don’t let it go quickly. Instead, swish the wine around in your mouth and almost chew it. Let this happen for some seconds… your brain is analyzing through the whole process. You will get feelings: if the wine is sweet, acid, bitter, heavy or light. As the air in your mouth mixes with the wine and gets to the nasal passage, you will feel again some of the aromas you felt when you first smelt it, or maybe new ones.