Wine has come a long way from being a simple source of nutrition to becoming a cultural symbol. It is associated with tradition, history, and, of course, gastronomy.
Wine tasting is different from drinking. It serves as a way of appreciation for wine in all its richness and diversity. Embarking on a wine-tasting journey as a student is so exciting. You can enjoy tasting parties with friends or try wine tourism. Don’t worry. With an essay writer online from a professional paper writing service for students, it’s possible to find enough time to unravel the wine culture. Meanwhile, your essays will be carefully crafted and ready for you.
Wine tasting allows you to single out specific characteristics of the drink. You don’t even need to be an expert to taste wine. Anyone can learn to do it. Just grab a glass and follow our guide.
Hold the wine glass by the stem so you don’t warm the drink with your hand, and take a look. Natural light and white background are your friends. Note the color. Does light shine through the wine? What hues do you notice?
The shade of wine says a lot about its age. For example, the light red wine tastes “fresh” and crisp. Typically, it has not been aged. Deeper shades of red are associated with a much smoother and richer taste. The longer the wine ages in an oak barrel, the deeper its taste and color get. You can use a wine reference chart to distinguish between different hues.
Are there legs (or tears) of wine clinging to the glass? They can tell you about the viscosity of the wine. Noticeable legs are an indication of a higher alcohol level and residual sugar.
Wine is rich in aromas that affect its flavor. Smell your wine and try to distinguish them. Does your wine smell fruity, floral, or herbal?
The aromas of wine fall into three categories:
- Primary aromas result from grape variety. These are fruit, floral, and herbal notes.
- Secondary aromas are specific to the fermentation process. They create bouquets like mushrooms, butter, cultured cream, beer, etc.
- Tertiary aromas are derived from aging. With time, wine can acquire the aroma of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, nuts, smoke, etc.
Swirl the glass and try again. It allows the wine to breathe and release new aromas. Compare your impressions. Do you notice any changes in aromas after swirling?
Think of broad categories first. If you’re a beginner, there’s no point in getting too specific. There are hundreds of possible aroma compounds. So isolating and identifying them takes some time and practice.
Take a Sip
Only now, it’s time to taste the wine. Take a small sip and swirl it around your mouth. Take your time to identify what you taste.
- Sweetness. One of the first characteristics you’ll feel on your palate is sweetness. It results from residual sugar that remains after fermentation. Note that the perception of sweetness is determined by the level of acidity. Wines that are high in acid will taste less sweet.
- Acidity. Wines with high acidity taste lighter and fresher, while low-acid wines are smooth and somewhat flabby.
- Tannin. This is an antioxidant in red wines that gives you a drying sensation in your mouth. Tannin comes from grape skins and seeds and oak.
- Alcohol. It gives the wine its intensity and a warming sensation.
The combination of the factors forms the overall body of the wine. It can give you an idea of the type of grapes, the region where they were grown, and the age of the wine. Based on the texture and intensity of taste, wine can be light, medium, or full-bodied.
To find more flavors, try a technique of making a larger sip followed by several smaller sips. It helps to isolate individual tastes.
The taste of wine can feel different depending on time. So consider the aftertaste. How did your sensations change?
Don’t be intimidated if someone picks up different tastes and aromas than you. Our perceptions vary. There are no right or wrong answers. So don’t overthink it and focus on these aspects instead:
- Was the wine unique and memorable?
- Did the taste impress you? If yes, in what way?
- Did you like the wine?
Considering the richness of aromas and flavors, wine tasting can be overwhelming at first. But don’t despair. You don’t start out as an expert, you become one. So keep an open mind and just practice. Look, swirl, smell, and taste. Most importantly, enjoy the process and appreciate the unique culture of wine. Happy Tasting!