Many people shy away from wine tasting because they are intimidated by what they consider to be a complicated process, but in all honesty it is much simpler than it appears.
If you have visited a wine tasting room, you’ve probably encountered some wine “snobs” who often try to sound as though they know more than they do or they over complicate the process by trying to over analyze the wine.
Don’t let this keep you from pursuing the wonderful world of tasting some great wines. This is a terrific way to discover which wines you really like and those you don’t, and the more you participate in wine tasting, the better you’ll become at recognizing fine qualities in wine.
Here’s are some basic tips on wine tasting for those who want to pursue their interests in this area but have held back for fear of a lack of knowledge or experience:
1. Take your time when tasting wines. The pourers in a wine room will start you off with delicate white wines, and then shift over to heavier bodied red wines. Don’t rush when tasting wine. Savor the flavor, and imagine what foods you think would go well with each wine. Most rooms usually have pencil and paper on hand so you can make notes as you taste.
2. Do not be discouraged by upscale wine rooms. Know proper wine etiquette, as in don’t grab the glass and gulp a wine down in one fell swoop; that isn’t tasting; it is “gulping.” If you strongly dislike a wine, there is a bucket where you can discard it. You don’t have to drink wines you don’t like.
3. Don’t ask for a full glass of wine. Wine rooms typically serve a taste of the wines at first, and it would be rare for them to pour wine by the glass. If there is a wine you really do like, you can ask the pourer to taste it again. Keep in mind that tasting rooms are not bars; the wineries are wine merchants, allowing you to sample products in hopes that you will make a purchase.
4. Wine tasting should embrace all of your senses, including your vision. The process of wine tasting starts with your sense of smell. This is why you see experienced tasters taking a freshly poured glass of wine and swirling it in the glass a few times; it allows the wine to “breathe.” Next take a big whiff and focus on what you smell. It might be a type of fruit, a particular berry, or even a hint of wood or leather. Hold it to the light to inspect the wine’s color, and then sip the wine.
There are many different aspects that are good to know about wine tasting, and many of them you can learn as you go once you get the basics down. Don’t hang back from doing something that truly interests you just because you are new at it. As with any other endeavor, wine tasting has to start somewhere. So brush up on some basics, and visit a wine room. You’ll be so glad you did!