“One not only drinks wine, one smells it, observes it, tastes it, sips it and – one talks about it.”
– Edward VII.
For a majority of us, wine tasting is merely swirl, sip and swallow- but actually, it is way beyond that. In a world where tasting wine is considered nothing less than a work of art, it can get quite intimidating to be around wine connoisseurs.
Check out this simple guide to mastering your skills:
1. Lift your glass with grace
Whether you are tasting red or white wine, holding your glass by the stem is the right way to do it; you don’t want to warm up your wine and ruin its flavour by grabbing the bowl. Additionally, holding it from the bowl will prevent any greasy fingerprints on the glass.
2. Tilt the glass and spot the hue
The first step after pouring yourself a glass of wine is to tilt your glass a little and have a good look at the wine from –center to the edges. Yes, it is more than just red and white. If you are sipping on some red produce, identify if the colour is maroon, ruby, blood or carmine. If your wine is white, it’s amber, clear, golden or pale yellow. Ideally, the older the white wine, the darker it gets. On the other hand, red wine loses its color with age, even turning slightly brownish.
3. Swirl your wine
Hold your glass by the stem, and gently swirl your glass, to oxygenate the wine and release the aroma. Swirling your wine for a good 10-12 seconds will also reveal the viscosity of the wine. The higher the viscosity the greater is the alcoholic or glycerol content.
4. Sniff your wine
Drinking a glass of wine is a joyride for all your senses, and the sense of smell, believe it or not, holds as much importance as your tongue. Post swirling, slightly dive your nose into the glass and capture the captivating fragrance of your wine. Depending on your wine, you should be able to smell berries, flowers, spices, etc. Great wine is enticing on the nose and gives you a hint of what is to come.
5. Time to taste
Do not forget that wine is not meant not to be guzzled, but savoured with gentle sips. Sip the wine, and let it linger in your mouth, allowing the taste buds to take over. Identify the flavour, texture and consistency of your drink before you swallow.
PS: Wine-tours provide spittoons, for you to spit out the wine if you are planning to taste a lot of varieties.
Do not forget that various foods paired with your wine could either enhance or reduce the flavor. Fret not; there is a guide to that too!