Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wine Wednesday :: Wine Tasting Tips

Hello all!

It has been a while since I've done a Wine Wednesday post but I thought I would try and get back into it because I just got back from a whirlwind two day trip to Napa, California.  I got to visit some absolutely stunning wineries, ate the most amazing food, and came back a few pounds heavier.  =P  But before I get into all of the great wineries, I thought I do a few "basics" of wine tasting pointers for those of you who may be going out to do the same wherever you are located!

1) Do NOT drink the wine if you are tasting multiples.

This is a scientific fact.  When you swallow the wine, you are cementing that taste in your taste buds and it will make it much harder to get a good idea of what the next one will really taste like (has to do with the way air and our taste buds work).  There are some exceptions to types of wines that are less permanent on your tongue.  Generally speaking though, if you are at a wine bar or winery tasting through several types and styles of wines, you 1) do not want to get too happy too quick and 2) don't want to kill your palate too fast.  If the place where you are tasting does not automatically provide them, ask for a spit bucket.

2) Before you take your first sip, swirl your glass and take a big sniff with your nose as far in the glass as you can get it.

Wine and oxygen are best friends.  Especially when you want to get a good idea of what you are smelling and tasting.  So swirl the glass to expose the wine to as much air as possible and take a big sniff so you are ready for your first taste and you have a sneak peek through the smell!

3) Once you have the wine in your mouth, suck in air through your mouth and "mix" it with the wine.

Breathing is crucial to the human tasting process.  So when you are tasting wine, expose your taste buds and the wine to as much air as possible!  Technically, this is called "aerating" but really, you are doing that thing your mom always told you not to - slurping.  

4) Pay attention to what you are tasting & smelling!

Flavors in wine are complex.  Different grapes make different wines and have different tastes (profound, I know).  But really, that is the beauty of wine.  This single beverage can have an infinite number of taste profiles, colors, ages, origins, and purposes.  Let yourself experience and understand that!  A red wine might taste like strawberries, chocolate, or wet dirt.  A white wine might have hints of honey, peaches, or herbs.  The exciting part is that you have a whole world of wines to try out!

Pretty basic, right?  Hopefully these tips will help you get the most out of your next wine tasting experience!

Have a beautiful day!


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