HOW DO YOU ORGANISE A WINE TASTING?
How do you organise a wine tasting?
More than once we have found ourselves trapped among an endless amount of information on the Geographical Origins, grape varieties and unusual names that form a wine list, fearing that at any moment the sommelier would appear to take the order. In the end, we always end up asking for the wine we know already or find familiar because of its provenance, not knowing whether it will pair well with what we will be eating.
Here is a simple guide on how to organise a red wine tasting to solve these problems. Wine tasting has always been a very complex task that needs years of training, but if we stop to observe and analyze, we too will be able to understand some of their secrets!
A standard wine tasting is divided into four phases:
PHASE 1: Visual analysis
Visual analysis is probably the simplest phase. In this step we will first determine the appearance of the wine: whether it is clean and bright or if it has the presence of sediments. Next, we will look at its colour. In this sense, the terms cherry, picota cherry, maroon and ruby are usually used, and at the edge we can sometimes we can distinguish violet and even bluish tones.
We will also talk about its viscosity, looking at the tears that are left in the glass when we move it and finally when we see its opacity, by placing a finger behind the glass.
PHASE 2: Analysis by Smell
With the wine poured in the glass, we will smell the wine and take some gentle inspiration. At this point we will talk about our first impressions and then the intensity of the wine.
Then it will be time to isolate the various aromas, and for this, we will move the glass and smell it. Normally young wines will remind us more of fruits and flowers, these are known as primary aromas. On the other hand, aged wines take on the typical aromas of the barrel, such as oak, undergrowth, pepper, coffee, cigar box…; these are the so-called tertiary aromas. And as for the last group of aromas, they are called secondary, and are all those fragrances that precede fermentation. Many reds undergo a fermentation called Malolactic, so we should not be surprised if the aroma of a wine reminds us of yogurt, strawberries with cream or butter.
PHASE 3: Taste analysis
To do this analysis we must bring the glass to the lips and take a small sip. Before swallowing or spitting it out, we’ll do a little swilling around the mouth and end up expelling the air through the nose.
First, we will determine the balance between alcohol and acidity, then start looking for flavors, especially those that we cannot detect with the nose, such as bitterness and salinity. Next, we will define the sensation that the tannin leaves on the tongue, also known as texture. In this sense, terms such as silky and velvety are often used.
PHASE 4: Synthesis and Conclusions
At this last part we should give our opinion on the whole of the first three phases. In this way, with a little practice, just by reading in a menu the D.O. or the grape variety, we can get to imagine the taste of a wine and what its optimal food pairing would be.