Are you the one who is ordering the wine at the restaurant? Are you the one who talks a lot, but drinks even more? Are you the one who wants to get laid because of wine but doesn’t want to have a hungover? And if not, DO YOU WANT TO BE THIS PERSON?
Considering that among all of you, I have plenty of people who don’t really know how to taste properly a glass of wine (maybe they don’t really care), I’d like to spend few minutes to preserve the “ancient culture” of wine tasting.
I’m coming from (and I’ve lived in) a region with a STRONG wine culture, hence my goal is to transmit a bit of these litres of knowledge to you.
Step one: “I think this is red, isn’t it?”
Basic distinction – white vs red (OMG THE ROSE’).
Next level: gestures. Pretending to be an expert is quite simple: raise your full glass against the light. Check out the color, opacity and viscosity. You don’t really need to spend more than 5 seconds on this step.
Step Two: “It smells like wine!”
Well this is the tricky part. If you are not used to taste wines, you will never pick up different aromas. Hence just put your nose inside the glass and put your most serious face on, claiming you find the smell quite “interesting” (or another general word that will work in positive/negative scenario). However, if you are at your fifth wine tasting, simply try to stay serious.
Now let’s imagine you are a bit more used to smell wines: pick out at least 2 flavors and take your time identifying them. Mostly speaking, there are 3 types of wine aromas:
- Primary Aromas come from grapes and include fruit, herb and flower notes
- Secondary Aromas come from fermentation and yeast aromas.
- Tertiary Bouquets come from aging, oxidation and oak such as baking spices, nutty aromas and vanilla.
Step Three: “Can I drink now?”
Everybody was waiting for this part! Excellent, go for it! Bring the glass to your lips, drink a medium sip of wine. Taste the wine, DON’T swallow it.
Fine, here we go with another glass, now before drinking, LISTEN to me. Two elements make up taste: flavor and structure.
- Flavors such as lemon, raspberry or coconut.
- Structure such as the level of sweetness, body, alcohol, acidity, and tannin.
Have you felt anything? No, ok fair enough, we’re going to try with the next one. But at least next time, try to be slower. Because the taste of wine is also time-based, there is a beginning, middle (mid-palate) and end (finish).
Step 4: “Oh, that was (good/bad)!”
Professional questions at this point are “Did the wine taste balanced or out of balance?” or “Were there any characteristics that shined through and impressed you?”.
No worries mate, on your side, you can surely ask one thing.
Another glass of wine.
Stay hungry, stay winelovers.