You may be great at drinking wine – but do you know how to taste it? Here are the top tips we’ve found on how to properly taste wine and impress your friends in the process.
So you’ve read our blog post on serving temperature, decanting and glass choice HERE. And you’ve read all about aerating your wine in our blog post HERE. So now you’re ready to taste it! Start by making sure you’re out of the way of other odours and that you’ve cleansed your palette – you want to be able to concentrate on the wine at hand.
Once you’ve prepared the optimal tasting environment, pour your glass and take a look at your wine. Look from the side of the glass to see how clear the wine is. A murkier wine could have had fermentation problems or has had sediment settle. Swirl the wine and look at the side of your glass again. If the wine forms ‘legs’ that run down the glass, it has a higher alcohol or glycerin content and will usually be a bigger full-bodied wine.
The next step is to sniff the wine. Swirl again and this time hover your nose above the glass opening. Depending on your level of wine expertise, you’ll start to recognize different aromas. If you’re tasting our 2012 Meritage, you’ll notice a rich bouquet of dark fruits, floral aromas and notes of sweet tobacco. And if its our 2012 Syrah, you’ll sense dark plums, floral aromas and notes of cedar.
Now its finally time to take a sip! Try sucking in the wine, almost as if through a straw – you’ll aerate the wine while you drink. Let the wine flow across your entire tongue so that it hits all parts of your palette. The different parts of the tongue detect different tastes and you’ll want to be able to get a sense of all of these – sweet, sour, acidic and salty. Good wine is usually a balance of flavours and isn’t overpowered by just one.
The fruit and oak in our Meritage are well integrated so you’ll be able to taste dark berries, fig jam, and cocoa notes. The long finish shows baking spices, cinnamon and cardamom, and sweet vanilla. And in our Syrah, you’ll taste black fruits, leather, white pepper, and chocolate notes followed by a finish of spice and smoky oak.
Assessing the wine by taste is the final step in the process and hopefully it confirms the conclusions you drew from sight and smell beforehand. You can now swallow the wine or spit it out if you are tasting multiple wines. Note how the wine ‘finishes’ – a lasting impression that a wine will leave on your taste buds.
To learn more about wine tasting, check out a great resource from Wine Enthusiast HERE.
To test out your new tasting skills on our wine, you can find a list of restaurants carrying our Meritage and Syrah HERE or purchase a mixed case online HERE.