Drinking wine is a fun, social activity. With a wide spectrum of styles, tastes and flavors, wine is a diverse, engaging liquor that can delight and surprise your palate. Wine tastings are one way to try various types of wine in smaller doses. Occasionally, BLEND hosts wine tasting events with our outstanding wine vendors. We want to take some time to breakdown how to successfully become an expert wine taster and recognize the different flavors, textures and dynamics of the wine you’re drinking.
This is a continuation of our wine series. See our blog to learn more about red and white wine varieties.
Have a clean, open environment: Before tasting or pouring the wine, make sure your glass is clean, the room is well lit and you have access to a an airy, neutral room.
Be educated on the wine you’re tasting: It’s one thing to taste a new wine, but learning more about where the wine came from, how it was made and the ingredients used to make it will give you an entirely
new experience and appreciation. Before taking that first sip, listen to your waiter as he or she shares additional information about the wine.
Be bold and try something new: It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and stay strictly to one category. Whether you’re a red wine connoisseur or a champion of white wines, a tasting is the time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You may be surprised to find a new favorite style or blend.
After reviewing the wine offering and deciding on your tasting choices, the next step is to actually try each wine. Remember to take your time and utilize all of your senses to have the best wine tasting experience.
There are four factors to consider when trying a new wine: appearance, aroma, mouth feel and finish.
This may be the simplest thing to do when you sample a wine. Take a moment to observe the appearance; consider color, body and clarity. This can help determine the age and grape variety used to make the wine. Look at it from multiple angles to see the full range of colors in the wine.
Before taking that first sip, testing the aroma can help determine the quality, texture and type of wine you’re about to try. You’re encouraged to swirl and smell to help facilitate the strongest bouquet (aroma) from the wine. Swirling should be done by the stem (rather than the bowl) so as not to increase the temperature of the wine. Scents may be flowery, fruity, herbal, earthy or some other familiar scent. The most effective way to test a wine’s aroma is to take a few quick, short sniffs hovering just over the glass. Sweeter scents, such as vanilla, chocolate, or expresso may indicate that the wine was aged in oak barrels.
When you take your first sip of wine, don’t immediately swallow, but rather take a second to swish the wine in your mouth and consider the combination of flavors you’re experiencing. By covering the entire surface area of your tongue, you are able to activate all taste buds (sweet, sour, salty and bitter) and determine the body of the wine.
Once you’ve swished the wine, swallow and pay attention to the aftertaste. Which tastes, scents and flavors stay with you? Give your palate a second to absorb the wine flavorings and then determine why you did or did not prefer the wine.
Wine is an exciting experience because of the countless flavors, scents and textures one can experience. Acidity, tannin, sweetness and fruitiness can all lend to a unique wine tasting experience that is different for everyone. Once you try a new wine, you may consider recording your thoughts, observations and feelings with the overall experience. This is a helpful tactic to better discern what you’re seeing, smelling and tasting (and what you may want to try again). Check out Blend’s website for upcoming wine tasting events near you.
BLEND Bar • Cigar with Davidoff Cigars® is Indianapolis and Nashville’s premier cocktail lounge and cigar bar. BLEND’s selection of premium cigars is second to none, and our walk-in humidor is one of the largest in the US. BLEND is the only appointed merchant for Davidoff cigars in Indiana, so cigar aficionados are sure to find what they are looking for.