Wine Tasting Basics: It’s All About Exploring And Expressing Your Preferences

A greater understanding of tasting and appreciating wine can certainly enhance your enjoyment of it.

The essence of wine lies predominantly in its colour, aroma, and flavour. It is the diversity of these attributes that keeps you fascinated by it. Winemakers are continually seeking new – and rediscovering old – techniques to enhance the varietal character and to positively influence the diverse qualities of wine.

Experiencing wine with food is really engaging wine in its preferred natural habitat.

The appreciation of wine can be broken down into three different areas: appearance, smell, and taste. All three are important aspects of each wine’s character, but the taste is considered to be the most critical as it encompasses both flavour and texture and confirms the wine characteristics.

Wine Tasting: Look

Clarity is an indication of the character and condition of the wine.

Colour (intensity and hue) can help determine the variety and/or age of the wine. Red wine goes from red to brown as it ages, a white wine from light green/yellow to gold.

The ‘tears’ left on the inside side of the glass after swirling can be indicative of the amount of glycerol and alcohol present in the wine.

Wine Tasting: Smell

Inhale and try and identify as many flavour compounds as possible.

Look for identifiers such as freshness, intensity of aroma and sensation. Most wines have a vast array of smells and these smells change and develop with time in the glass.

Wine Tasting: Taste

The texture of a wine can provide clues as to how the wine is made.

Progression of flavour from when the wine enters your mouth to after you swallow is an indicator of the quality of the wine. A long aftertaste is generally a positive indication of quality.

After looking, smelling and tasting, make an overall assessment of the wine – a lasting impression of harmony and balance is considered desirable and easiest to enjoy.

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