Monday, 23 January 2017

Wines : A Beginner’s Guide to Wine Tasting

Are you a new wine enthusiast? If yes, then this blog contains useful resources that will help in rounding out your knowledge of wine.

The basic types of wine:

Wine is made from grapes, but not the classic table grapes you find in grocery stores. Wine grapes are sweet, small, and have thick skins with seeds. There are more than thirteen thousand different varieties of wine grapes, but only a few are used all over the world.

Wines that are made with just a single grape type are known as varietal wine or a single-variety wine. On the other hand, a wine created out of several different types of grapes is called a blend.

Common types of wines include:

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon. Taste: black currant, black cherry, cedar and baking spices.
  2. Syrah. Taste: plum, blueberry, tobacco, black pepper, meat, violet.
  3. Zinfandel. Taste: An exotic, broad array of fruits from stone to sour cherry, raspberry, plum, blueberry, blackberry, sweet tobacco, and the like.
  4. Pinot Noir. Taste: Extremely red fruited (cranberry and cherry) and red floral, with subtle vegetal notes of rhubarb, beet, or mushroom.
  5. Chardonnay.  Taste: Yellow citrus, pomaceous fruits, tropical fruits and sometimes butterscotch, cinnamon, and notes of toasted caramel.
  6. Sauvignon Blanc. Taste: Grapefruit pith, with exotic fruits (passion fruit, honeydew melon, and kiwi) and mint, grass, green pepper.
  7. Pinot Gris.  Taste: Delicate citrus and pomaceous fruits, with some floral notes.
  8. Riesling.  Taste: Citrus and stone-fruit with sweet and floral herbal elements.
Choosing the right glasses for different types of wines

White wines:

White wines are normally served in smaller bowled glassware. This is done to,

  1. Maintain cooler temperatures
  2. Preserve the floral aromas
  3. Offer more aromas
Red wines:

Red wines are normally served in bigger bowled glasses. The glasses help to:

  1. Deliver more compounds of aroma
  2. Greater surface area for letting ethanol evaporate
  3. Wider opening ensures that the wines taste smoother
Developing your sense of taste                                                    

Learning how to taste wine can help you pick flavors and point out wine faults. Here is a tasting method practiced by professionals.

1. Look

Check out the opacity, color, and viscosity of the wine. You do not really require to spend more than five seconds at this stage. Most clues about the wine are hidden in its look.

2. Smell

When smelling wine, think of flavors ranging from big and gradually to small. Can you sense fruits? Orchard, citrus, or tropical fruits when tasting reds. Generally, you can segregate the nose of a wine into 3 main categories:

  • Primary aromas, i.e. fruit-driven, floral and herbal notes.
  • Secondary aromas. The most common are yeast-derivative such as, cheese rind, stale beer, and nut husk.
  • Tertiary aromas such as baking spice, cured leather, roasted nuts, vanilla, old tobacco, autumn leaves, or mushroom.

3. Taste

Taste is how you use your tongue for observing the wine. 

After the three steps, did the wine taste out of balance (i.e. too alcoholic, acidic, or tannic) or balanced? How did you like the wine? Was it unmemorable or unique? Were there any features that were striking and impressed you?

Wine tasting is a beautiful art and the more you learn about it the more it will intrigue you. So, the next time you are invited to a wine tasting session or if you receive a wine gift basket, use your new skills to impress your friends.

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