Log-in

A Guide to Wine Tasting

Posted on February 03, 2016

There's no substitute, when learning about wine you need to open bottles of wine and taste the wine. But where to start?  Like most wine lovers - we've got the books about wine, most of which are great - well how can you not appreciate Oz Clark or Janis Robinson or Hugh Johnson, they know their wines inside outside & upside down.  But....they got that knowledge by drinking wine!

It's great that we're suggesting you not only drink wine - but that you drink a lot of wine!  There are proven methods for learning about wine tasting, we'll keep it as simple as possible.

You need a method that will help you remember what you've tasted, how to retain the information gained by your nose and your mouth.  You need several wines open at once, but with a common thread such as all from the same grape or all from one region, one producer.  This allows you to make comparisons that are meaningful.

To begin - you've chosen your wines, let's say Merlot from France, Chile & South Africa. Open the bottles and pour each taster / guest a glass - do not fill the glass too full.

 You now have a Flight of Wines to taste. The order for tasting is : Look, Swirl, Smell then Taste - so

Lift the first glass, tilt over a piece of white paper - you're checking for the age of the wine. If there is a transparent ring at the top - this is a young wine. If it's more dense, it's a more mature wine. Check out the colour, density & life of the wine in your glass - from the start you're looking for something that appeals to you - making choices.

Swirl the wine in the glass - give it a good swirl!  This encourages the wine to breathe, which allows the flavours to open up. Stick your nose right into the glass - and take a really good sniff.  Think about what you're smelling - spices, flowers, fruits, minerals, smoke, leather.  Make notes, it all helps to remember.  Doing this in a group helps as some people identify what they're smelling quicker - they are just able to put a finger on it straight away.  This might help you clarify what you're smelling. After doing this a few times, you'll find that the smells are easier to identify.

Taste - that's take a good sip of the wine, hold it in your mouth for 5 to 10 seconds - sucking the wine through your teeth aerates the wine, which encourages the flavours to develop. You can spit or swallow - you're probably not going to taste a 100 wines - so it doesn't matter.  Again make notes.

Then on to the second wine.  And - repeat the process.  You might want to go back to the first - sniffing and or tasting.  Refresh your palate with water or water biscuits.  

Your notes should help you identify the smells & tastes that most appeal to you - making it easier to go shopping for a wine you might like. We do regular tastings, not just for wines that we're thinking of buying for D'Arcy Wine Merchants - but also wines from other shops - because we're interested and like trying new wines.  Wine tasting should be an on-going discovery of pleasure - but we would say that wouldn't we!!

Three wines to try together for a tasting

Sauvignon Blanc Comparrison

Les Terres Rares Sauvignon Elegance, France

Jordan Estate Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa

The Cloud Factory Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

 

 

http://www.winemag.com/Web-2015/A-Wine-Experts-Guide-to-Training-Your-Palate/

Previous Next
Scroll to top