Rob Accordino recently started writing editorial pieces for our own Southern Dutchess News. We will regularly post Rob's articles here on our blog.
Our goal at VinoVin is to show our readers and customers that wine can be easy. People often complicate wine, and this is easy to do.
With so many different types of wine and styles of making wine from around the world, it is easy to become confused and intimidated. I believe that with a little education, wine can be simple, affordable and most importantly, enjoyable for everyone. After all, doesn’t everyone want to be able to enjoy a great bottle of wine with friends, food and laughs. Through this series of articles, it is my goal to be able to show all of you that this is an easy goal to achieve.
I believe that the most important step is to taste wine properly. It’s not just the technique of tasting, but understanding what it is you are tasting and all the wonderful sensations that go along with it. It may seem strange when you see someone swirling their wine around and sniffing it deeply, but why should we care what other people think? There are a lot of things about wine tasting that may seem odd at first, but they are a big part of the experience!
The first step is to pour a small amount, around an ounce or so, in the glass when you are tasting a wine for the first time. This allows you room to give the wine a good swirl. Then you want to take a good look at the color of the wine. Hold it up to the light or against a white background to observe the true color. Wines will vary in intensity of their color, so this will be a good indication if the wine is of good quality.
Next is the swirl and sniff. Swirling the wine allows it to open up by coming in contact with more oxygen and the natural aromas of the wine will begin to release. Next, give the wine a few small sniffs like I mentioned above, while hovering your nose over the edge of the glass. Try and identify some familiar aromas. Give the wine another good swirl and this time insert your nose partially into the glass and take a deep breath while keeping your mouth open, again try and identify any familiar aromas. The reason behind this is that when eating 50 percent of the taste comes through the smell in your nose.
Now, let move to tasting! Take a small sip of the wine and keep it in your mouth for a moment. Try and identify any familiar tastes, as well as how the wine feels in your mouth. Ask yourself, is it sweet or savory? Is it silky and smooth or is it rough and acidic? Now, take another sip and repeat your thought process to understand the wine a little more.
Now, let’s move to the finish. After tasting the wine and swallowing, or spitting, you should have another part of the taste in your mouth. Did it disappear quickly or did it linger? Did you want to take another sip right away or did you want to wait a bit?
You have now done a complete tasting of your wine. Reflect on it a bit and think about what the wine tasted like to you. If you really loved the wine, take some notes to remind yourself of what you liked about it. There are no right or wrong answers, it is a personal experience. Do you think you would enjoy this wine sitting on a beach, or sitting in front of a fire on a cold night, or with a big juicy steak? It is fun to compare your experience with friends and family to see how they differ.
Now that you have guidelines to proper wine tasting, grab a couple bottles and some friends and practice. Congratulations on your first step toward making wine easy. Next time we will dive into how to find great wine values, so you can enjoy practicing.