Tasting wine step by step

Observe

Pour 30ml of wine into a glass

* Tilt the glass slightly

* Check that the wine is clear and free of cloud

* Using a white background observe the colour of the wine. This will determine the depth and hue of colour. Look at the body and rim of the wine, are they different colours?

* Swirl the glass. If the wine is high in alcohol it will produce little droplets on the side of the glass. This is observing its viscosity.

Smelling

* Smell the wine. Swirl the wine in the glass and smell again.

* Check the wine for smells such as vinegar, mould. We want a clean smell

* Try to describe the various aromas your are experiencing

* Try to determine the intensity of the aromas such as intense, medium and light

Tasting

* Take a small amount of wine in your mouth and move it around for approximately 10 seconds. Think about the flavours and sensations your are feeling and tasting.

* Moving the wine around in your mouth is important to be able to fully appreciate all its flavours

* Wines aroma also contributes to its flavour experienced within the mouth.

* Tannins contribute to the texture of the wine. Some words to describe the sensation of tannins include silky, grainy and soft.

* To get the full experience of wine on the palate you must look for the intensity, the weight of the wine in the mouth, the balance between flavours, richness, pleasant mouth feel, structure and negative contributions such as bitterness.

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by Diane Drysdale