Tasting Tips

Depending on what you like to get out of your tasting event, weather an education or enjoyment, there are methods to wine tasting to prolong your taste buds. You should start with white wine or a sparkling wine. Start with a lighter high acid white wine and move towards the fruitier white wines. After moving to red wine, use the same technique. Start with your light pinots and proceed toward the cabs. You may run into your tongue giving out on you. Where you don′t think you can take another sip of big oak or tannin red. This is where you should go back to some dry sparkling for about two or three tastes. The sparkling bubbles will sting your tongue, but it will bring your dulled palate back to life for a little while longer.

Does it matter what kind of glass I use?

A large bowl glass allows the wine to breathe pleasing for wines such as reds, especially older wines. A smaller bowled glass maintains the aromas in the glass pleasing for white wines, especially aromatic white wines.

How should I hold my wine glass?

You can hold your glass any way you please, but the proper way would be by holding the glass by the stem, not the bowl. On the other hand, if the wine is too cold, holding it by the bowl may warm your wine slightly, and allow it to breathe.

What does the term “breathe” mean?

A wine is said to “breathe” after being confined in a bottle for many years, and is open to the air. When a wine is breathing out it is letting off an assortment of scents depending on the wine. For instance, the traditional made red wine needs to dispose of musty aromas before tasting their finest; this may take pouring the wine into wide-bottomed container and letting it relax at room temperature for a couple hours.

What temperature should I serve my wine at?

Red wines are commonly served at room temperature. White wines, and particularly sweet ones, are commonly served chilled. Fortified wines, ports and sherrys, are commonly served at room temperature as well. Ice wines can be chilled or served at room temperature. If you get a spiced wine at the holidays, it can be warmed.

How long is too long to store my wine?

Most wine today is intended for immediate consumption. However, some red wines will improve with age. White wines and dessert wines should be consumed within a year. Sherry and port wines can be stored longer.

Tasting wine tips Glossary:

Here′s a short and unique list of terms that you may encounter as you visit our winery.

  • Acidity: This refers to how sharp or bitter the wine tastes. Too much will make the wine taste bitter; too little, bland or dull.
  • Alcohol Content: The content of alcohol in wines varies from 8 to 15 percent. This is decided on the sweetness of the fruit used to make the wine. Accordingly warmer climate grapes tend to make wines with higher alcohol levels than fruits from cooler climates.
  • Dry/Sweet: Dry wine is formed by how all the sugar in the juice is converted into alcohol during fermentation. With a sweet wine is the opposite, fermentation is stopped before all of the sugar which was in the juice is converted into alcohol. This is called “residual sugar”. However dry wines can also taste sweet on account of the flavors or aromas imparted by the fruit or the vanilla taste sometimes imparted by oak.
  • Fermentation: Fermentation is where grape juice is turned into wine. This process works by first crushing of the grapes to extract the juice. Next all of the natural sugar in the grape juice is converted to alcohol by yeast. Interesting fact; fermentation will not continue after the alcohol level reaches around 15%.
  • Flight or Flights: A flight is where there is a selection; at least three wines, but up to eight that are presented at a tasting. There are two different flights; the horizontal flight, and vertical flight. Horizontal flight consists of tasting and comparing the same wine produced by different wineries. Vertical flight consists of tasting and comparing wine made by the same winery, but made over a number of years.
  • Malolactic Fermentation: Malolactic Fermentation, process that helps to reduce the produce of excess acidity in wine. The process is done by taking the bitter malic acids and converting them into a mild form of lactic acids.
  • Residual Sugar: See above Dry/Sweet.
  • Tannin: It′s a natural preservative that comes from the grapes skin, stems, and pips, as well as the barrels which the wine is stored in and aged in. Without this preservative certain wines wouldn′t be able to improve in a bottle. In some wines Tannin does make the wine taste bitter; High levels of Tannin are most commonly found red wines than any other wine. This is caused because the red grapes are commonly left to ferment with their skins.
  • Vintage: Tells you the year that the grapes were harvested from when the wine was made.
  • Weight/Body: Sensation of viscosity in one′s mouth. Is the wine heavy, medium, or light?

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