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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

The Basics of Wine Tasting

Wine tasting is an assessment of a wine's quality. It's not just about taste but also covers aroma, color, the way it feels in one's mouth and how long the wine persists in the mouth after tasting. Wine tasting is also one way to determine the maturity of the wine and whether it is suitable for aging or for immediate drinking. Its purpose it to discover the key facets of the wine in order to appreciate it better in every sense of the word.

Wine tasting also serves to compare a particular wine with others that fall into the same price range, region or vintage - its quality, whether it is typical of the region it was made in, whether it uses certain wine making techniques and if it has any faults. It may sound hard to believe, but practiced wine tasters can actually tell if a wine was made through oak fermentation or malolactic fermentation. Their taste buds and their noses are simply that well-developed.

In wine tasting, wine is often served "blind," meaning that the taster should not see the wine's label because he might be influenced by it and to ensure impartial judgment of the wine.

Wine should be served at temperatures of 16 and 18 degrees centigrade (60 and 64 degrees fahrenheit). It is at this temperature that the wine's flavor and aroma is said to be most detectable. It is important that wines be served at the same temperature so that they can be judged using the same standards. The one exception is in the case of sparkling wine, which is usually served chilled mainly because sparkling wine does not taste well when it is warm.

Since wines do not taste alike, the order of tasting the wine is also important. For instance, heavy or sweet wine leaves a lingering taste that can affect the taste of succeeding lighter wines. There is actually a preferred order of tasting: sparkling wines; light whites, then heavy whites; roses; light reds; heavy reds; sweet wines.

So, the next time you see someone smelling his wine or just gently dabbing it on his tongue and lips, you have a better idea of what's going on. In truth, it looks foreign and a little complicated, but anyone can be an accomplished wine taster with some practice. All you have to do is drink more wine. What could be easier?

Kadence Buchanan

 
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