11 March 2018 | Raidis Estate | Raidis Estate
Wine Tasting 101
Wine Tasting 101
We often forget as winemakers that wine tasting is an art, and not everyone knows how to taste wine, pair it with food, and get the best out of the wine they consume. For those in the industry, we live and breath it daily so we sometimes, rightly or wrongly assume that everyone understands how to taste wine when they walk into our Cellar Door.
Sure most people know how to drink it, but knowing how to taste wine properly helps your customers really pick the wines that they want to buy and gives them the confidence to try different things.
So here are our top wine tasting 101 tips.
Check out the colour and hue. You can tell a lot about the wine by looking at it. Does it have legs? Can you see through it? You will be able to judge a lot of wines before you put them in your mouth regarding the age and quality.
So much of what you think you taste comes from smell. So learning to smell the wine in the glass helps significantly in deciding if you like a wine or not. By smelling the wine, you are preparing your brain for the wine you are about to taste.
To better understand this concept, block your nose while you take a sip of your wine. What do you taste? Now taste the wine without your nose blocked after smelling it in the glass for a little bit. Does it taste different?
Our tongues can detect sweet, salty, sour, or bitter (and umami). All wines are going to have some sourness because grapes all inherently have some acid. This varies with climate and grape type.
And this contributes to why wine can taste so different to different people, and why people love some wines while others hate them.
Do you like what you are tasting? What flavours can you taste? A wine’s taste will be affected by the area that the grapes are grown. It’s referred to as ‘terrior’.
Did the wine taste balanced or out of balance (i.e. too acidic, too alcoholic, too tannic, too sweet)? When a wine is in balance all of the different aspects meld seamlessly into each other. Did it have a nice lingering flavour/ taste that you want another sip, or was it too sharp for your taste?
Think about what you like about the wine and what food it might go well with, as this is always a good indication that it might be a winner. When you can visualise a dish to have with that wine, it sets up the whole experience as your brain takes you on a journey.
And also don’t let the thoughts of others affect your judgement. There is no right or wrong with what you like. Just because everyone else likes a wine doesn’t mean you have to. We all have different taste and likes, and that’s what makes everyone different.
Wine is very subjective to the drinker, but if we can urge you to do one thing it’s to try something you haven’t tried before; you might be surprised how much you like it.
And enjoy, because it’s supposed to be fun!