Wine is an artistic drink. Unlike other drinks that just goes through the mouth, wine needs to be seen, smelled, felt and tasted. It needs to go through our different senses to be appreciated.
Wine tasting could be very daunting to the uninitiated. There are so many terminologies and rituals that should be learned. It could be intimidating but knowing the basics will make you realize that it is not that hard.
It is amazing how one grape, given the right conditions, could turn into a masterfully crafted drink. The wine tasting activity takes a person to journey to discover the flavors and scents that wine possess.
You do not have to be a connoisseur to appreciate wine. Anyone can find the beauty of wine. Once you learned how to appreciate it, you will never look at a bottle of wine the same again.
Before gulping the wine, there are basic things you need to remember when you go to a wine tasting event.
The first sense you need to use to appreciate your wine is your sense of sight. The appearance of the wine can give you clues on its characteristics. When you see a connoisseur lift and tilt his glass, he is looking for that clues. Here are the basics of what you need to discover when you drink a glass of wine.
- Clarity – Wines are commonly clear. You may spot a bit of haziness, but it should be okay. There are instances that the winemaker opts to keep the wine unfiltered. However, wine should never be too cloudy.
- Color – Wines have different shades depending on their age and concentration. However, it is not an indicator of quality. For instance, a young white wine color would be greenish near the edge and straw-colored in the middle. For red wine, a brownish shade at the edge could mean it is aged.
- Viscosity – This refers to the thick consistency of the wine. You will notice this when you swirl the wine and focus on the sides of the glass. You will see the consistency of the wine as it is streaking down the sides of the glass. A higher viscosity means a higher sugar or alcohol concentration.
- Smell – Remember how you food could taste bland when you have colds? This is because the smell contributes to the way you perceive taste. Do not be ashamed to bring your nose to the glass. You need to get a good whiff of the smell. If you did not catch the scent, swirl your glass gently to let the air lift the scent from the wine. You will be amazed at the different scents you can pick up with just a glass of wine. Fruity smelling wines could mean they are still young. Older wines will give off a smell that is richer like coffee or leather. It is interesting to note that the wine would not necessarily taste as it smells.
Finally! Time to taste. Do not sip. Take a mouthful but don’t swallow just yet. Take the time to feel the texture of the wine in your mouth and associate it what you saw and smelled before. You will now taste the fruity sweetness or the tannin. The tannin is the bitterness that you taste. Now that you have tasted, it is your choice to spit or swallow. You could opt to spit it if there are still a lot of wine lined up, so you do not get drunk.
So how do you judge a good wine? There is no right or wrong answer. One wine could appeal to different people. As the cliché goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” this holds true with wines.