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The Art of Wine Tasting
Wine tasting is something that every wine lover loves to do, but are they doing it correctly? Believe it or not, there are specifics involved in properly tasting the wine. Of course, many of us could care less about that, we just want to drink our wine! However, for those of you that would like to actually learn the proper methods, here are a few tips on the art of wine tasting.
In order to properly taste any wine, it should be poured into the proper glass. Realizing that most mass wine tastings are not going to have the proper stemware for each wine, we may have to rough it a bit on this one. While it will be traumatic, I am sure that we can manage to get by with a large goblet for all of our wines. However, the one thing that we do want to mention before tasting each wine is to make sure that you rinse the glass with water and dry it off before pouring the next wine.
Now that you have the rules of the glass, it is time to pour the wine. You will want at least two ounces of wine in the glass, depending upon the size of the glass. After the wine is poured, hold it up to the light and notice the different hues that come through under examination. While some wines will be darker than others, the wine itself should not be cloudy. If it is, it is more than likely a sign that the wine is bad.
Once the wine has been examined in the light, hold the glass by the bottom of the stem and swirl the glass so the wine rises up the sides of the glass. When you stop, watch how the wine drips back down the sides of the glass. If the wine is full-bodied, you will more than likely see the "legs" of the wine slowly slide back down. The second purpose of this is to open up the wine and allow all of the different essences to release.
From there, bring the glass of wine to your face and literally bury you nose in the goblet. Take a breath and allow the bouquet to saturate your olfactory senses. Notice the different aromas that come to the front immediately and the ones that tend to unfold as the aromas linger. While some of these aromas will differ from the actual taste, great wines will be just as true to the nose as they are to the palate.
The best part is next, the tasting. To further open up the wine, take a small sip and literally suck the wine through your teeth. The wine will come across the tongue and open up as it breaks through. Allow the wine to sit at first so you feel the heaviness of it, or lack thereof. Slowly swirl the wine around your tongue, allowing all four taste zones to pick up the different flavors. If choosing to swallow the wine instead of using a spittoon, count the seconds while the wine flavors last after it is gone. This is called the finish of the wine, and bigger wines will last for what seems like an eternity.
While all of this is happening, you should be taking notes at every stage. Write down the different aromas, the tastes, the finish, and whether or not you actually liked the wine itself. Always remember, there is no right or wrong, you taste what you taste. Whether it is $100 a bottle or $15, if you like it, it is the perfect bottle of wine.
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A Glass of Wine...
I finish each day applauding my accomplishments with a bouquet that tingles my senses and delights my pallette.