Basic Wine Tasting Tips

Have you ever thought about spending a day or weekend touring wine country? If this is something you’ve been considering, here are some tips for the beginners out there to make the most out of your experience. Taking a trip out to your local vineyards is a great way to relax and unwind. Learning the basics of how to savor the endless variations of wine will definitely keep you coming back for more.

The fundamental goal of wine tasting is to discover which types of wines you absolutely enjoy as well as the ones that don’t exactly suit you. There really is no right or wrong when it comes to wine so I wanted to emphasize this point to make sure you start with a fresh and clear conscience. Now on to the basic tips to help you on your journey in finding the perfect wine!

“The Wine Glass”

You should always start with a clean and clear wine glass. Make sure it is a true wine glass and not a champagne glass or any other type. You can easily distinguish a wine glass from others by noticing that it bends inwards. This is to prevent you from spilling when you swirl the wine. Another main point is that it helps concentrate the delightful aromas straight to the nose.

“Color”

Have you ever been in a restaurant and noticed someone holding up a glass of wine to stare at it? Believe it or not, this is an important step because it gives you some insight on the age of the wine. Hold the glass up into the light or against a white background. Generally, white wines that are young in age will range from a pale yellow to more of a rich amber. They will darken as they age into a more golden-brown color. Red wines are actually on the opposite end of the spectrum. They gradually lose their color and become more pale as they age. Red wines that are young in age will range from a lighter shade of red to a deep dark cherry red, kind of like the color of red bricks.

“The Swirl”

The basic principal behind swirling the wine is to let it breathe or aerate so that it releases the wonderful aromas. Take your glass by the stem and swirl it a few times in a circular motion. You can either leave the glass on the table while you do this or hold it in your hand if you prefer.

“Aroma”

Most will judge the quality of a wine by it’s smell or fragrance if you will. A good example of this would be the food we eat. If someone gave you something to eat that you’ve never tried before and it smelled funny to you, chances are, you would have second thoughts wouldn’t you? After all, our sense of taste is very closely linked to our sense of smell. This is why it’s always frustrating to enjoy food when you have a stuffy nose. After you’ve swirled the wine a few times, place your nose right over the rim of the glass and take a nice deep breathe. Try and see if you can distinguish all the different scents that hit your nose. You may be able to distinguish the various fruits such as berries, apples, citrus, to hints of herbs and spices. This initial aroma may also be followed up with a more smokey, toasty scent which is due to the way wine gets fermented and aged in oak barrels.

“Tasting”

Most people start out with experimenting in the comfort of their own home. Begin with pouring a little bit of wine into your glass; just about an inch at most. If you have a wide selection of wines to choose from, it is generally better to start with the lightest of them all (Whites) and then progress to the darker wines (Reds). Keeping your taste buds fresh and sensitive is the key here so it’s better to be consistent and gradual with the series of wine. You can also help cleanse your palate in between each wine tasting with a small sip of water. Now lets take a sip. Keep in mind that we are tasting so no big gulps! Before you swallow, let the flavors of the wine simmer on your taste buds a little bit. Let it slide across your tongue a few times, try and take in all the different flavors that are present.

There are some basic elements you’ll notice right away with any wine. Is it tart or sweet? Does the alcohol hit you right away? Is it nice and smooth or does it pack a punch? A well balanced wine will be somewhere in the middle for these types of characteristics. You can swallow the wine at this point and take note of any lingering tastes. If you happen to take a trip to the local vineyards, you will notice that there are containers to spit out the wine after it is tasted. Some wine tasters prefer to spit out the wine rather than swallow it so don’t be shy if you are not the latter. This is just a matter of personal preference.

In conclusion, it is important to choose the wine that you truly enjoy rather than be influenced by others. After all, no one will know what you like better than yourself. I encourage you to try as many varieties of wine as you can. As you become more experienced, your taste buds will lead you to the perfect bottle that suits you. Happy wine tasting!

Guide on How to Write Wine Tasting Notes

Are you a wine lover? Well wine tasting is one activity that you never should miss because it is a fun, exciting activity that will give you more passion and appreciation for different types of wine. Every time there is wine tasting, there are decisive factors that you need to keep in mind. These are the key senses of sight, smell and most importantly, the taste. When your memory is not very keen in remembering the taste of wines, you make use of wine savoring notes.

There are some people who are great in remembering things, so most likely, they are also good in remembering tastes and smell. Tastes and smell, when it comes to wines can be complex, and at times, it could be difficult to remember. Now writing wine savoring notes can certainly be useful. It will help you with your tasting of wine more exciting experience. With so many various types of wines, taking down notes is very essential.

Here are some tips to help you with your wine tasting notes:

• The first important thing to do is to identify which type of wine you will be smelling and tasting. Take note of the name of the wine so, because it will help you remember its taste and smell, as well as the maker of the wine.

• Make sure to divide the sheets in your notes into the following categories: Color, aroma and taste. This will help you determine the smell and taste of a specific wine much easier.

• Use your own language when taking down notes. This will help you easily understand your own notes.

• Review the notes a few days after just to refresh your mind. This way, it will help you remember the taste and smell of the drink you tested.

Wine tasting notes are simply normal for wine critics and writers. However, if you are a wine enthusiast, no one is stopping you from writing down notes to remember the aroma and taste of different wines. Just make sure that when you take down notes, you have to keep your notes organizes, and understandable so that you will not have a hard time understanding it eventually. You can find printable wine tasting notes over the internet so that you will have a guide in taking down notes after your wine tasting.

Differences Between Red and White Wine

When it comes to wines, people have different opinions on what is best and what isn’t. People enjoy wines for a lot of reasons – for socializing, for their health benefits and for cooking. But mostly, people enjoy drinking wine to relax and rid themselves of mental and physical stress at the end of the day and to loosen them up during gatherings where starting conversations can be a challenge.

Drinking wine has often been associated with the rich. It has often been used to describe how wealthy people pass their time and what they drink with their elegant meals. These days, however, drinking wine is more associated with enjoying simple pleasures. It has become the social drink to have for every occasion, big or small and is usually matched with almost any kind of meal; forget the white-wine-goes-with-white-meat rule. Of course, don’t forget that it has been given the go signal by medical experts as a drink that can help lower the risks of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.

However, there is an ongoing debate on what type of wine is better – red or white. Red wine is said to contain the most Reversterol, an antioxidant that possesses many heart-friendly qualities, including preventing the damage of blood vessels as well as reducing LDL cholesterol levels. White wine, on the other hand, helps keep the lung tissues healthy and is ideal for those who want to lose weight since it has fewer calories.

Between the two wines, white wine is liked by more people being that it is associated with relaxing and pleasurable activities like outdoor barbeques, summer parties and even moments where one just wants to sit back and reflect. It is more refreshing and tastes lighter than its red counterparts. Among the major types of white wine (like the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Pinot Grigio), it is the Chardonnay that enjoys immense popularity due to its mid-season ripening and versatility.

White wines can also be sweet and the sweet version tastes are usually acquired faster. They become sweet because the fermentation has somehow been stopped earlier, which means that there are some amounts of sugar that weren’t converted to alcohol and thus, add to the wine’s residual sugars. Usually, white wine tastes fruitier but to determine if it is really sweet, try plugging your nose when drinking it. True sweetness always prevails regardless of any aromatic intervention. Examples of sweet white wines are the Moscato, which is a semi-sparkling, semi-sweet and lighter-bodied wine that is usually a great accompaniment for brunches and fruit-based desserts. Another type of sweet white wine are ice wines which are made from grapes frozen on the vine then pressed and fermented to make a very rich dessert wine.

Whether you choose to drink red or white, there is one important word to remember: moderation. Good for the body it may be, but no doctor ever said that you can take lots and lots of it.