You’ve ordered a bottle of wine at a restaurant and the waiter comes over with it. He pours a little in your glass and stands back, expectantly. You’ve seen people swirl the wine in the glass and give it a sniff so you imitate, then take a sip and give a nod of your head. You have absolutely no idea what you’re doing though.
When it comes to tasting wine, there are a few tips and tricks that we’ve got up our sleeve that can make the tasting experience much more straightforward.
For a portion of wine drinkers, it can be difficult to really taste the difference between a cheap and cheerful $20 bottle of red and a 1991 Grange Hermitage.
Here are some of the main characteristics to look for when you taste a wine for the first time.
Holding the glass to the light
Taking a look at the colour of the wine, especially a red, is an important first step. Try tilting the glass so that you can have a look at the opacity and colour of the wine from different angles. From the side view, a wine that looks clear and brilliant is a good sign.
The all-important swirl
Swirling the wine gives you an idea of the ripeness and full-flavour of the wine. If it “tears” or grows legs at the sides, this is an indicator of a bigger flavour.
Swirling also helps with fragrance. As you give the wine a sniff, ensure your nose is above the glass not in it! Take a few short sniffs and then pull your nose away to take in what you’ve smelt.
There are many scents you might be able to pick up – the important ones that you don’t want to smell are a musty, wet paper smell in an aged wine or a nail polish style smell. Either of these indicate the wine may be no good.
Finally – time to taste
Take a small sip of the wine and allow it to stay on your tongue. As you sip try sucking in the wine with some air, this will help to get a fuller flavour and help to identify some of the subtler flavours in the wine. A cheaper or less balanced wine will have a sharp acidity.
Generally, the more flavours you can taste in the wine, the more complex it is and the less likely you’ve been fooled by a cheap drop! A balance of sweetness with acidity indicates a good, balanced wine.
Make a good drop, great.
In addition to the above, you can also enhance the flavours in your wine using My WineLover. My WineLover is the handy gadget that will make even an average bottle of wine taste beautiful. Simply place My WineLover next to the bottle for up to 60 minutes and you’ll find that the wine has a mellowed acidity and a more full flavoured taste.