I have a preferred way that I like to taste wine with. It is not the right way, it is not the wrong way, it is quite simply my way. My method is inspired from a number of tastings I have done, but in particular the wine tasting I did at Ravine Winery (Great winery by the way.) in the summer of 2016 was the most influential.
I like to look at the wine and observe the colour first, there is such a wide variety of colours a red wine can have. It can be dark dark dark indigo, it can be nearly translucent, it could have a brickish colour. All of these things are hints about the kind of the grapes used, how long it has been in the bottle, or even the strength of the wine.
Next, I really like to smell the wine. It can almost paint a complete picture of the wine you are about to taste. This is especially important when sampling wines at wineries as you’re lucky to get more than an ounce or two to try!
Swirling the wine while smelling helps release some of the aromas in the wine as well. I tend to smell without swirling, then smell a couple times after swirling.
Next, and this is the most important part for me is the first sip. I have zero intention of actually tasting the wine at my first sip, all I am trying to do it set my palette. I am often sampling many wines in a row. I typically have the taste from the previous wine still in my mouth, leaving my taste buds slightly compromised. The first sip helps bring your palate back to neutrality.
After that, I take a nice big sip of the wine. I let it coat my tongue, I swirl it around my mouth. I put a lot of effort into tasting it. This is where I begin to truly form an opinion about a wine.
If there is enough wine left in the glass, I will have a second sip and do the same thing again. At this point I have a pretty good idea of what I am tasting and whether I enjoy it or not.
The most important part of wine tasting for me is ensuring that every wine I taste gets a fair shot. This is why the first sip is so important. Let is cleanse your palate so that you have one or two chances to truly taste the wine in front of you.
Feel free to this method out, let us know what you think!
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