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How to enhance your wine tasting experience

Par Izzy Moore

Is there really a right way to taste wine? And if so, do you know it?

First and foremost there is no one single way to try wine as often the end result is down to personal preference. Nevertheless, there is one particular method that is both recognised and employed by a vast number of professionals, that when used, allows us to enjoy the wine just that little bit more.

Look, smell, air, taste!

These four techniques mentioned above are going to enhance that all important first tasting and it will be worth embracing the routine to develop one’s palate and enhance one’s knowledge. From the opening to the explosion of flavours the journey will be both enthralling and most pleasurable.

 

First step? Examine the wine.

 

The colour and its intensity will give you a clue as to the wines origin, its consistency and its evolution. Is it a rich, dark, crimson red mirroring that of Dominique Laurent’s 2014 Chambolle-Musigny, or a crisp, light pink, evoking salmon hues, as seen in the 2014 Mangot rosé? Its shimmer will enlighten you on its level of acidity, the more it shines the more acidic it is! Finally, the thickness of the residue left on the rim of the glass will hint as to how creamy or greasy the texture of the wine is; and yes wine can be greasy…

 

Second step? Inhaling the wines aromas.

 

The first time your nose reaches the glass you discover the plethora of aromas that characterise the wine. Furthermore, the initiation begins when you start to recognise the bouquets that may be very distinct from the flavours. From velvety red berries to earthy mushrooms moving to peppery or crispy citrus tones, the range of flavours can be sophisticated, varied and surprising.

 

Third step of your tasting journey, allowing for the wine to air.

 

It is simple, gently rotate the liquid in your glass and put your nose back in. The swirling motion of the wine allows for it to breathe, drawing in oxygen from the air and really opening up to offer you fragrances that you may not have picked up upon the first time. Take Yves Cuilleron’s Syrah, an elegant, full bodied red wine from the Rhône region, here strong aromas of dark fruits and mixed berries are immediately recognised the first time you inhale. However, after having aired the wine, the second time your nose reaches the glass you will recognise the spices in the wine through a subtle, pleasant tingling of the olfactory senses.

 

Finally, the best and last part of this routine, the tasting!

 

Take a large sip of Michel Guignier’s Macon Village and allow your taste buds to really soak up and absorb all the flavours and goodness that glass has to offer. Is it acidic, balanced, light or consistant? How long do the flavours stay on your palate?

So many questions that only your palate can answer.

Repeat with a piece of fromage de chèvre or or slice of parma ham and discover how the marriage of delicate food and wine can create a memorable gustative relish.

So don’t be afraid, get tasting!

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