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The Art of Wine Tasting
The pristine art of wine tasting is a field many venture into for many reasons. It could be just for sheer interest in wine or to impress someone or maybe just for the fun of it. But wine tasting, contrary to popular believe is not an art for just the tongue. There is much more to it than just pouring wine into a glass and whisking it into your tongue. As a matter of fact, wine tasting utilizes just about all the senses.
The eyes are just as important in wine tasting as the tongue is. The wine’s color tells you a great deal about the wine. Such as how long the wine was aged, the type of grapes that was used and the fermentation used. Once poured into the glass, there are certain characteristics that one should look for in the wine.
White wines display a light greenish tint and they are supposed to be bright. If drier white wines appear to have sediments, this is mostly due to inadequate aging and the sediments are a sign of too much sugar. Rose wines, unlike white wines, are intense in color and are not supposed to be pale. Red wines are very informative through their color. A purplish red laced with touches of violet is a sign of young red wine. When there is a brick red color in place of the violet, this is a sign that the wine is at least three years old. A deep, rich red color on the other hand is a sign of high quality aged red wine.
Now this will sound a little unbelievable but sound also plays a large part in wine tasting. The sound made by the cork while opening the bottle as well as the sound made while pouring the wine into the glass tell one more about the viscosity and texture of the wine.
Smell is a very important aspect of wine tasting. Before swirling the wine, the aroma can tell more about the grape varieties used. Young wines for instance, have fruitier aromas. Once swirled, one begins to have an idea of the fermentation process. For instance, a smell of grape skin signifies improper fermentation. Finally, after the wine settles, one is able to discern the smells that are associated with the aging process.
Taste, the most vital step in wine tasting is a very distinctive process. While tasting, one notices three characteristics of each wine.
- The first two to three seconds are generally dominated by the wine’s sweeter flavors.
- Between five to ten seconds, one begins to taste the beginning of more acidic flavors.
- The final approach to the wine is dominated by the bitter and acidic flavors.
It is important to oxygenate the wine while tasting so to allow the wine to reach the back of the mouth and reach the nasal cavity.
We should note that in addition to acquiring a taste for good wine, many also prefer to carry their fine bottles in special wine totes.