Wine Tasting, The Amatures Dilemma

Describing taste is not always easy, sure if it is salt or sweet, hot or cold it makes if fairly easy. But describing the taste of wine when writing a wine review is a little harder!

Not only are you facing the task of trying to explain the taste of a wine that has very much in common with other wines, but you are trying to describe the very small differences in the taste of the wine.

Any one who ever read a wine review knows that it does sound very strange for the amateur. How do you describe the "palette" or the smell, how do you even describe the colour of the wine?

The "wine world" has a lot of different ways to do this, by using terms that are specific for certain things. But it might be very hard to start using these untill you are more familiar with the wine tastes your self. What I always recommend the beginner wine taster to do is simply to set your own words and terms! If you have your very own way of categorising wine taste, then it will be so much easier later to understand what others mean when they describe a wine taste and all its characters. Here is how you could start it off.

Pick any bottle of wine that you want to "test". It is good if you start with a wine that you are very familiar with, as you already know its taste a little. Look at the colour of the wine, what does it say to you? How would You describe it? Put it down in writing. Now do the same with the smell and the taste of the wine. Try to find some simple "words" or phrases that make you remember a certain colour, smell or taste. Once you have written all this down on the first wine, continue with a second wine, well you might not want to do it all in one evening, especially if you are doing this alone as it would either be a shame to leave an unfinished bottle open OR maybe not so health to continue opening bottles if you did leave the first one empty!

Now that you are reviewing your second wine, look at your wine review from the first wine, what difference is there in colour, how would you describe the difference or does it need a totally new word or phrase? If so, use something that you associate with this wine and is characters. Now go through the whole process with writing up Your view of the smell and taste again and when finished look at the differences in your notes.

You have now successfully completed your first two wine reviews! Once you have done more like this it will be fairly easy to remember and understand your writing, and once this is done, you can test a wine someone else has written a wine review for and now you can understand there words and phrases compared to your own!

As you will understand, writing or understanding wine reviews is not always easy, it takes experience and own knowledge of wines to actually have something that you can refer to. But once you are there, wine reviews do make it so much easier to choose the right wine for the right occasion!

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About The Author, James English