How to taste wine (almost) like a pro

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How to taste wine (almost) like a pro

Wine tasting isn’t quite the same as drinking it. Experiencing the flavours means slowing down and paying attention to your senses. Follow these 5 steps and you’ll never have to feel like a fraud in the tasting room again – plus you;ll get so much more out of your glass.

1. Raise your glass

Hold it by the stem, lift it to the light and examine the colour and clarity. White wines range from pale yellow to deep gold, while reds vary from light brick to black-red. Colour can also indicate varietal, for example purple-black is a sign there could be Syrah in your glass. Murkiness indicates fermentation problems, so sparkle is a good sign.

2. Give it a swirl

This releases the aromas. It’s easiest to do this on the table (freestyling might be a great way to show off your wrist technique, but sloshing into your lap is not a good look). Let the whirlpool subside, lift the glass and if you see “tears” running down the inside you could venture:“This wine has good legs. Ahem.”(These wines have more alcohol and glycerin,so tend to be bigger and riper.)

3. Take a whiff

Hover your nose above the glass, inhale and note the first thing you smell (there are no wrong answers). Common aromas in white wine are grass, citrus, tropical fruit, vanilla, spice and oak; reds often have cherry, berries, pepper, tobacco, spices and oak. Musty old attic means the wine is corked.

4. Sip slowly

Take a small mouthful of wine and slowly swirl it around your mouth. Is it sweet or acidic? Does your mouth feel a little dry or is the wine soft and smooth? And does the taste match the smell?

5. swallow and savour

The final impression is the finish, or aftertaste, which lingers on the palate. It could be short, or last a minute or more (20 to 30 seconds is good for the average bottle). Dry whites such as Riesling are often clean and crisp, while a Chardonnay might linger longer. Top reds have staying power and their complex flavour can develop on the tongue for some time after your last sip.

Discover more tips and tricks to up your kitchen game here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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