The one thing that you shouldn’t do when you’re tasting wine is to taint your sense of smell and taste by smoking before or during your tasting, or eating anything before or during your tasting. This is one sure fire way to dull your taste buds and to mangle up your wine tasting. And for certain if you’re near any other wine tasters, they won’t like if you smoke anywhere near them.
Quite a few people advocate tasting wine blindly. This means that you taste the wine without looking at its label. This will save you initial prejudice or favoritism you might feel towards that particular wine if you know details about it. And if you’re tasting wine more than once, or a number of different reds and whites, then ideally you should take things in a light to dense order. In other words, taste the lighter wines first, then move on to the heavier wines.
If you don’t know the difference yourself, then use your judgment as far as possible by using your sense of smell and your sight first. There are more often than not, distinct qualities for the different wines and these can be told most of the time by sight and smell alone.
For instance, sweet heavy wines will be thicker and leave streaks on the sides of glass when it it’s swirled, these are generally referred to as the legs on a wine. And once upon a time, the amount of these legs was used as a determinant for the quality of a wine, i.e. the greater the amount of legs on a glass that better quality the wine was.
In reality that’s not the case however, and the days of determining the quality of a wine in that method are long since gone. The legs of the wine can however, help you to determine whether the wine is a heavy or one or not, as these tend to leave the most number of legs on a glass.
Like I said the order of tasting wine should be from light to dark, or from white to red. But before you start off with your white wines you might want to take a look at your sparkling wines first.
Since I threw that in merely to confuse you, I shall also now take you out of that confusion, by giving you the correct descending order for tasting wine. In other words start from the top and make your way through the wines in an orderly fashion! So, start with the sparkling wines like champagne first, then go on to the light white wines, and next on to the heavy white wines. Take a trip to the rosés after that, and then move on to the light red wines.
Next, head on over to the heavy red wines before making a stop at the sweet wines section. One last thing about tasting wine, you should be aware of. At formal tasting wine events where there will almost definitely be more than one wine to taste, the tasters will be in the habit of spitting out their small mouthful of wine into a provided receptacle.
This will generally be in the form of a spittoon filled with sawdust. The sawdust is added to soak up the wine and prevent the wine splashing back. The spittoon is provided so that the wine tasters don’t become drunk on the amounts of wine they are tasting.
Most likely at a tasting wine event, you will also be presented with water in which to rinse out your mouth after tasting wine, which you again spit out, or unsalted crackers or French bread with which to soak up the wine.
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