Why Taste Wine?
It’s all very well talking about how great wine tasting is, but for everyone who is happy just drinking it thankyouverymuch, what’s the point?
Well the main reason is to enhance your enjoyment of it. Like many things in life the more, time you spend thinking about it, appreciating it, and increasing your understanding of it, the more you will get out of it. Think about the different food you eat, books you read, flowers you grow. All of these things can be done passively, but the more attention you give to them and the more knowledge you have, can really change your experience.
And wine tasting is different to wine drinking. We all know how to drink wine, that’s the easy part. For tasting we use a systematic approach to understand the appearance, nose and palate of the wine. By doing this you can find out about the style, taste, structure and quality of the wine, rather than just whether you like it or not!
For the appearance we are looking to make sure there is not fault, then evaluating the colour and intensity of it.
The smelling part is very important, and worth spending time on. So much of what you taste comes from what you smell, and by trying to separate the different aromas, be they fruit, spice, floral, vegetal, savoury (there are a lot of aromas that can be found in wine) you will be able to know what to expect on the palate.
So, on to the tasting. When we’re tasting wine we don’t just drink it, you aerate it in your mouth. This means holding some of the wine in your mouth and drawing air through it so it covers all the parts of your tongue and mouth. From tasting like this you will be able to judge the body, acidity, tannin, sweetness and alcohol level of the wine, as well the different flavours. By noting how long you can taste the wine after you have swallowed it and the overall balance of the various components, you can also draw some conclusions as to quality of the wine. And of course then decide whether you like it!
That’s pretty much it. It may sound like quite a lot but it’s actually easy with practice. After a few try you’ll soon be sipping and slurping away like a pro!