Part 1. The overall visual appearance of the wine,
Part 2. The wine’s scent,
Part 3. The wine’s taste and,
Part 4. The texture or feel of the wine in your mouth.
So we are up to part 3 in this mini series, the part where the good stuff gets to happen! You finally get to taste the wine! When tasting a wine it is often referred to as the ‘palate’ of the wine.
1. take a small sip – don’t immediately swallow the wine but instead let it move around your mouth so it comes into contact with the different parts of your mouth, each of which picks up on different taste factors. If you’re feeling game also try to suck some air into your mouth to aerate the wine further, this really allows you to taste the full range of flavours that the wine would develop if allowed to completely breath before being consumed.
Things to look out for when tasting a wine:
Sweetness: the tip of your tongue is where your sweetness indicators are in your mouth. A wine is either sweet or if it is not sweet than it is a dry wine.
Acidity: too much acidity can make a wine taste ‘tart’ and be unappealing but if done right with the right wines (like say and SB or SSB) than the acidity in the wine will produce a zesty, refreshing and balanced finish.
Fruit: generally the fruitier a wine the younger and/or better quality the wine is.
Alcohol: needs to not overpower the other elements of a wine. If it is too high then it can lead to a burning sensation when swallowed.
These are just a list of simple indicators and like in part 2 there is an unending list of different flavours that can be found in wines as a result of the grapes, the methods used to produce the wines as well as the region and terrain in which the grapes are grown.
When compared with the aromas you noted in part 2 and the flavours you have noted since tasting the wine you will tend to find similarities and differences. Sometimes a wine may also surprise you! For example the Plantagenet Riesling that i tried 2 weeks ago had quite a sharp aroma that you would expect of a young Riesling, while it’s palate was smooth and balanced, with none of the commonly expected flaws of a young wine.
Until next time!