It can’t be denied that the UK is in love with wine. While we’re not globally well-known for the fruity alcohol, we’re not one to turn down a glass of chardonnay or merlot. Although it’s likely that we’ve had a tipple of wine at some point in our lives, you might not be enjoying the wine to its fullest.
This might sound a bit unusual, especially as you’ve probably more than enjoyed a lovely glass of red, white or sparkling, yet, to an expert wine taster, the way we drink wine doesn’t offer the full palette of flavours on offer in every bottle. With this in mind, here’s how to taste wine like a pro.
A lot more goes into wine tasting than simply drinking it. There’s actually a few steps beforehand that not only help you to check for flaws in the wine, but can also make you look like a professional. Once you have filled your glass by a third, start by inspecting the wine, which begins with a look from the top to give you an idea of its colour in the centre.
After this, hold the glass to the light and tilt it so that you can see the colour of the whole glass, not just the dark centre.This can help to give you an understanding of the saturation and density of the wine which, after some practice will allow you to make an educated guess at the grape used. It can also help to point out any flaws in the wine that may affect its overall quality.Finally, give the wine a good swirl, keeping a keen eye on whether it creates any ‘legs’ or ‘tears on the glass. Good legs indicate the wine is a riper, more full-bodied experience.
Next, you’re going to want to give the wine a sniff to get an idea of the aromas present in the glass. After the swirl, hover your nose over the top of the glass and take small inhalations. Once you’ve done this, take some time to process what you can smell in the wine.
Wines can have a multitude of flavours both good and bad, and it can take a bit of practice to begin really discerning the aromas in a glass of wine. However, once you’ve picked it up, you can impress your friends with your knowledge.
Finally, we get to the most enjoyable part – the tasting. While it can be tempting to simply neck the wine, fight the urge and take small sips from the glass. Once you’ve done this, suck on the wine as though you’re sucking on a straw; this aerates the wine, giving you access to the full palette of flavours that the wine has to offer.
If you’ve guessed correctly during the smell test, you’ll likely taste the aromas that you picked up on but, of course, in a more intense way – it also means you can boast to your peers that you know what you’re talking about!
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