Wine Tasting Guide

How to taste wine

 

There are four primary tastes traditionally identified with certain areas of the mouth: bitter (towards the back of the tongue), sour/acidic (towards the right side of the tongue), salt (in the middle, towards the front of the tongue) and sweet (the middle tip of the tongue). You can also taste a savoury flavour on your whole tongue.

Appearance

Check out the colour as it can tell you lots about the wine – a purple red indicates youth and a deeply coloured almost golden white can indicate age. Also the colour can tell you if a wine is faulty: does it have bubbles when its not supposed to? Or is it cloudy?

Nose

man-smelling-wine-4-365km042009Most of our tasting is actually done through the nose so this is an important and enjoyable step to asses a wine. This is also the point where you can spot faults in wine such as corked bottles, which will give away a musty smell. Swirl your glass, sniff the wine and talk about what your smelling – is it wet wool or morning dew, cherry blossom or raspberry jam?

Palate

Probably the step you’ve been waiting for, and for many the most enjoyable part of tasting wine. This is when you asses all of the structural components of the wine such as acidity, tannins, level of sweetness and length of flavour. Take a fairly large sip of wine and swirl it all around your mouth and tongue. What are the initial flavours? Does it have a rich or delicate texture? Do the flavours linger in the mouth for long and are they pleasant?

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