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Wine Tasting


First, to make sure enough vapor is present to get a strong sense of the wine’s smell, use a glass shape that can concentrate the molecules, filled only one-third full or less to allow space for the vapors to be contained. Tilting the glass over an opaque white surface and observing the liquid’s edge is the best way to judge hue and clarity. Next, swirl the wine to toss some of those molecules into the air and to increase the size of the liquid surface area from which the molecules can escape.
Then take a big, deep sniff of the wine to reach the deep-seated nasal receptors and cross the threshold of sensitivity. That first impression of a wine is really important. Close the eyes and concentrate to form an initial judgment before fatigue and adaptation set in.
Put enough wine, one-half to a full ounce, in the mouth and slosh it around to make sure as large an area of the tongue as possible has a chance to judge the wine’s elements. Feel the viscosity and tannins. Allow the wine to settle in the lower jaw, letting it warm slightly while pursing the lips to breathe in a small amount of air. Continue sucking in air, making a slurping sound as the wine and air mix. This volatilizes the wine and sends it to the back of the nasal cavity, intensifying the smell and flavor experience. After swallowing, notice which flavors and feelings are left and how well they linger.
1- Aspect of wine clearness, brilliance, colored intensity, hue
2 - First nose (without swirling the glass): basic flavors, is it fruity, spicy, chemical, earthy, woody, grassy, mineral.
- Second nose (after swirling the glass): what are the new sensations?
3 - The mouth
- The immediate ongoing sensation, is it fresh, burning, watery, astringent, acid….and the evolution of the tactile perception. How flavors evolve, are they the same as the nose? What evolution for taste.
- The body of the wine, assessment of the balance between acidity/alcohol/tannin and its evolution from the beginning of the tasting to the swallowing. How are the tannins: rough, velvety, loose or tight, drying, coming immediately or long after…?
- The after taste, just after swallowing or spitting out (the best in case of multiple samples to taste): what taste is remaining, is the finish bitter, tannic, sweet, acid, oaky, dull or lively…? What is the length from one to twenty second, and sometimes more…?