A wine tasting is something not everyone gets right the first time around. After living in this beautiful wine region I have been to a few wine tastings and I am still learning something new every time!
Now we don’t want to overwhelm you with too many details and of course everyone already knows that getting drunk during a wine tasting is not the best form! So here are 4 simple steps to get the most out of your wine tasting.
Like with all tastings you have to use all your senses, seeing what is in you glass is the first step to tasting wine. Notice the color and clarity of the wine you hold in your hand. To get the best result view your glass by holding it against a white background in a well-lit room.
So-called ‘white’ wines vary in color, from crystal clear through light green, all shades of yellow, to deep golden brown. White wines gain color as they age.
Red wines range from red, ruby to purple, garnet and brick. Red wines lose color as they age and begin to turn brown.
It doesn’t matter how you swirl your wine, your technique is completing an important next step in the tasting process. By swirling your wine you’re exposing it to a larger surface area and getting more oxygen into it, which ultimately intensifies the flavor. Wine experts also call this step “opening up”.
When you smell wine you prepare your brain for the wine you are about to taste.
What do you notice immediately when you smell the wine for the first time? This is called its nose, bouquet or aroma. Common aromas include fruits, spices, herbs and flowers. Everyone smells different flavors but it definitely gets your mouth excited to finally taste the wine.
- Chardonnay: pear, apple, peach, apricot, vanilla, lemon, melon, pineapple and other tropical fruit, honey
- Sauvignon Blanc: grass, herbs, grapefruit, pear, gooseberry, lime, lemon, olive
- Gewurztraminer and Riesling: grapefruit, apricot, lime, mint, melon, peach, lilac, jasmine, cinnamon, cloves
- Viognier: flowers, lemon, honeysuckle and nectarine
After all this hard work of preparing, it is time to taste the wine. The overall “taste” of a wine is a combination of its smell and flavor. Various areas of your tongue are designed to taste different things: the tip recognizes sweetness; the inner sides recognize sour; the outer sides taste saltiness; and the back of your tongue identifies bitterness.
Roll the wine across your taste buds. Look for a delicate, discernible balance of the following characteristics:
- Body Fullness or Thinness: A function of alcohol and glycerol
- Acidity: Gives the wine its crisp freshness (without acidity, the wine will taste flat and sour)
- Tannin: This ‘bitter’ taste comes from grape skins and seeds. Tannin is essential to the finish of a fine wine. Tannin is most obvious in red wines: it can taste astringent, hard, dry, or soft
- Sweetness: Comes from fruit flavors and fermented grape sugars in the wine. (If there’s no perceived sweetness, the wine is considered ‘dry’.)
- Fruitiness: Intensity depends on the variety, growing conditions and wine making techniques
Don’t forget to clean you pallet in between the different wines.
Also it is OK to spit you don’t have to drink every wine … but you certainly can.
However the most important thing to remember is to have fun while you are doing it.
If you are planning a wine tasting and still looking for the perfect place to stay than simply contact us at Amalfi Resort or give us a ring on 08 9754 3311. We can even help you to arrange the perfect wine tour.
Till next time,