Wine Tasting Tips: Trust Your Senses

Wine experts say it’s time to upgrade your choices with wines that are “raising eyebrows”. While “wine stars” like Pen folds Grande, Vermentino, Anjou Blanc and Cabernet Franc may be an unmistakable choice, iconic wine is not always on the menu.

Here are a few wine tasting tips that may help you evaluate a glass of wine at a restaurant or buy white wine that tastes as refreshing as Malvazija Istarska at a wine store. Pay attention to your senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste, experts advise.

1) Love at first sight

It’s best to look at the glass of wine in daylight or place it against a white background – a napkin, paper, or tablecloth. Is the wine cloudy or clear? Can you see sediment or bits of cork? The colour varies from wine to wine but new red wine is usually purple, while older reds are reddish-brown or brick-coloured. White wine becomes more golden with age.

2) Smells like fruits and flowers

Give the glass a good swirl and take a series of quick short sniffs. There are thousands of aroma components in good wine and it’s no use finding them all. Yet, expect to find fruit, flower, herb, spice and vegetable aromas in a glass of good wine. The best wine aromas are complex yet harmonious.

3) A magic touch

In wine tasting, the touch is the feel of the wine on the tongue. Is the wine brisk or soft, flat or flabby? Younger reds are normally more tannic – which feels like a drying sensation in your mouth – as tannins are used to keep reds from spoiling. Keep in mind that people perceive tannins and alcohol as feelings, not flavours.

4) Tastes like more

Your taste should be used after you’ve used other senses. Take a small sip and swirl the wine around so all your taste buds are active. Does it taste the same as it smells? Is the wine sweet, dry, crisp, creamy, or acidic? Is it light or heavy? Remember to experience the aftertaste as well. When the proportion is good, even younger wine presents its flavours harmoniously.

These are the basic wine tasting tips but you can experiment on your own to find out more about your likes and dislikes. Cheers!

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