Ever found yourself at a social event, not sure of which wine to choose and possibly surrounded by people tasting their wine with precision, while you are unaware of the steps to follow and drink the wine straight away? Wine tasting is an art. Learning to taste and appreciate a glass of wine will help avoid awkward scenarios at your next social event. Take a look at the most important rules and guidelines for selecting and tasting your wine.
Rule 1: Opt for a glass that is clear so that the color of the wine can be examined. Check for a glass with a long stem, making sure the top of the glass is channeled inward so that the aroma of the wine stays inside every time it’s moved in the glass.
Rule 2: Always make sure to hold your glass by the stem. Holding it by the bowl will expose the wine to your body temperature and change the taste of the wine. Enhance your appearance and experience by holding the glass by its stem.
Guide to tasting wine like a pro
Start off by holding your wine glass against a white background, e.g. a white napkin/tissue and look at the color. The deeper and darker the color, the longer the wine was aged in an oak barrel consisting of a smoother taste.
Next you need to swirl the wine in your glass gently, to allow the wine to release it bouquets. Swirling free hand increases the risk of spilling the wine. You could use a table top or surface and hold the stem of your glass like a pencil between your fingers and pretend to draw small circles on the surface, this will amplify it’s smell. Repeat it for few seconds.
Now do not be afraid to stick your nose all the way in the wine glass and take a deep sniff, this will help you analyze the aroma and indicate you to what you will be tasting.
Take small to medium sips of the wine. Remember to sip not gulp! Avoid taking big sips as it won’t give you enough room to move the wine around in the mouth. Try and inhale air through your mouth while holding the wine in your mouth, this will expand and explore your wine tasting skills.
When you are holding the sip in the mouth, pretend to chew the wine or pretend your are using a mouth fresher, the idea is to hold it in the mouth for few seconds, also make sure you inhale every surface. This step will allow the wine to hit all of the different taste buds found on the tongue.
You can decide to swallow the sip and finish the whole ounce of wine in your glass or spit the sip out into a disposable cup if you are spending the day tasting and trying more than two varietals, so that they do not confuse the palate.
Selecting the best wine
In order to choose the right wine it is important to follow the three P’s of wine selection- Price, Preference and Pairing. Keeping in mind the budget, occasion and the menu served at the occasion can help in choosing the right wine. Read on to learn more about the best wine and food pairing and the best type of wine for various occasions
The best types to choose from
Differentiation of wine can be either based on the type of grape used or the blend created to produce the wine.
Those wine that use a single type of grape is know as the single-variety wine or varietal wine, such as, Riesling from Germany, Chardonnay from France or Souvingnon Blanc from New Zealand that are made from White grapes. Others Such as Syrah from France, Merlot from the US west cost and Pinot Noir from France are some of the popular red grape wines .
Wine made with several different types of grapes is a blend. Some of the most popular wine blends would be Champagne, Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja and many more that could even consist of a blend of white and red grapes.
Best wines on a budget
Although most wines that are high priced are good and seem like the best option for most occasions, less extravagant versions of wines such as Souvingnon Blanc and Chardonnay are also good options. It would be best to purchase a bottle that hasn’t aged for long (say 2 to 3 years).
Paring your wine with food
A decent glass of whine when paired with the right food can enhance the flavors making your meal more enjoyable. Pairing your wine with food may not be as difficult as it seems. Although there are some foods that are difficult to pair with wine, a general knowledge of wine and food pairing can help you enjoy your meal better. Take a look at the chart below to understand which wine to opt for your selected menu.
The right wine for your preference
Upon understanding how wine pairs with food, the selection of wine can be narrowed down based on the menu for your occasion. Even so,wine can be used for reasons other than the menu. If you wish to cook using wine, Souvingnon Blanc would be a good option as it is a dry white wine and would enhance flavors without adding sweetness to the dish.. If you wish to consume the wine as a digestif, a bottle of fortified wine, such as Port or Vermouth would do.
A good bottle of wine also works as the perfect gift for occasions such as dinner parties and house warming. Take a look below for some of the best Indian wines that are suitable gifting options.
Sula Sauvignon Blanc
Grover’s Sauvignon Blanc
Chadon Sparkling wine
Charosa Cabernet Sauvignon
Contributing Author – Vidya Menon
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