“In a cigar,’” they say, “it is the taste; in a wine it is the bouquet and in a sports car it is impossible”. If we skip the sports car episode and concentrate on the wine, the topic will become more relevant. As compared to hard drinks like alcohol, enjoying wine involves an acquired taste that takes time for fullest contentment. But once achieved, it is never lost. However, don’t be daunted if you are asked to attend wine tasting at a winery or even at any formal wine tasting party as you have nothing to lose but your bottle of wine, which comes as a free gift after the tasting is over.
Since you may not be a professional wine taster, a few tips may become helpful while wine tasting. Tip # 1 involves your power of observation = the eyes. Keep your eyes wide open when the wine is poured into the wine goblet and check on the following points.
The color and the shade of the wine. White wines usually fluctuate from a light gold to a slow amber while blush wines display hues that turn from pale peach to baby pinks. Red wines vary from ruby to deep purple to black. The next item to look for is the clarity.
A good wine should be clear all through and there should be no cloudy element in it. Look closely to see if there is any sediment settling down. Clarity will indicate the amount of tannins in the wine. If all these points are on the positive side, the wine has passed the first test. Get ready for the next item that creates the overall visual appeal.
It’s the concentration or strength of the hue which matters most. See if it is profound or pale. An insipid wine would not do.
Now pick up the wine goblet and swirl the wine in the goblet. You are sure to observe thin films of wine sheeting down the inside of the goblet that are technically called “tears”. Remember, more the tears, more the alcohol percentage.
Tip # 2 involves the power of your sensory organ = the nose. Let your olfactory nerves guide you in selecting the right wine.
If you have ever practiced deep breathing, this will come in handy now. Exhale out all the air from your lungs and inhale the aroma of the wine while keeping your nose as close to the goblet as possible. Smelling the wine is vital to any wine tasting. Usually, more intense, darker wines are endowed with full bouquet. It also tells the age.
Tip # 3 also involves yet another power of your sensory organs = the palate. Take around half an ounce of wine in your mouth and swish it around for just about ten to fifteen seconds, letting it come into contact with your tongue so that you may savor all the elements of the wine – its sweet, sour or bitter taste. Now, close your eyes to concentrate on the contents of your mouth and sure enough, your tongue will tell the tale. Be firm and frank about giving your opinion and carry home a nice bottle of wine that you have earned by giving your estimation.