Posted On Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 10:34:06 PM
Tasting is more an art than a science. and wine tasters know how to appreciate and value the qualities, colour, aroma and flavour of a wine. We could say that, in order to taste a wine, you have to “ask the wine questions”, thereby identifying details that explain the characteristics of the grape variety, of the vintage, the soil, etc.
Setting up a tasting:
- a table with a white tablecloth (or at least a sheet of paper or serviette, esentially something white),
- good lighting (white light or natural light),
- water to clean the palate between each wine and a container to spit into.
- The glasses must be of fine crystal, colourless, not engraved, with a long stem, wide base and narrow mouth.
- The ideal room temperature is between 20 and 22 ºC.
- Odour free room, it is important to avoid any smells that might interfere with our perception of the wine’s aromas, such as tobacco, log fires, bunches of flowers, baskets of fruit and any cooking smells, and refrain from wearing colognes or perfumes.
- It’s better to taste wine on an empty stomach (before lunch or dinner) because that’s when the taster’s most sensitive; obviously we can’t appreciate the wine’s subtle aromas and flavours after having had savoury aperitifs, cheese, coffee, chocolate or liqueurs or after smoking.
- Usually wines choosen for tasting are with a clear aim in mind: either tasting wines from the same grape variety and from different areas in the world, or tasting wines from the same area, or a vertical tasting (the same wine from different years).
- Order of tasting : from lower to higher alcohol content or from less to more aromatic intensity, bearing in mind that young wines should be tasted before old and wines of a lower category before those of a higher class.
Three stages of wine tasting:
- First is examining its visual appearance,
- analysing the aromas
- and then the sensations in the mouth.
At a wine tasting among friends, a fourth stage could be added, which is commenting on the wines being tasted, comparing opinions and strengthening ties of friendship, without ever forgetting the fun that can be had from a wine tasting among wine fans and friends.