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David Eckert
May 24, 2018 | Getting Started With Wine | David Eckert

Wine Tasting - Getting Started

The ability to sniff out and untangle the subtle threads that weave into complex wine aromas is essential for tasting. Try holding your nose while you swallow a mouthful of wine; you will find that most of the flavor is muted. Your nose is the key to your palate. Once you learn how to give wine a good sniff, you’ll begin to develop the ability to isolate flavors—to notice the way they unfold and interact—and, to some degree, assign language to describe them.

This is exactly what wine professionals—those who make, sell, buy, and write about wine—are able to do. For any wine enthusiast, it’s the pay-off for all the effort.

While there is no one right or wrong way to learn how to taste, some “rules” do apply.

First and foremost, you need to be methodical and focused. Find your own approach and consistently follow it. Not every single glass or bottle of wine must be analyzed in this way, of course. But if you really want to learn about wine, a certain amount of dedication is required. Whenever you have a glass of wine in your hand, make it a habit to take a minute to stop all conversation, shut out all distraction and focus your attention on the wine’s appearance, scents, flavors and finish.

You can run through this mental checklist in a minute or less, and it will quickly help you to plot out the compass points of your palate. Of course, sipping a chilled rosé from a paper cup at a garden party doesn’t require the same effort as diving into a well-aged Bordeaux served from a Riedel Sommelier Series glass. But those are the extreme ends of the spectrum. Just about everything you are likely to encounter falls somewhere in between.


noor's Gravatar
@ Sep 19, 2018 at 3:21 AM
I love wine country and since I live in Washington I’ve visited winey country here and in Oregon, plenty of times. The last time I was in Napa I was very young and would love to return as I really loved the landscape. Domaine Carneros is quite grand and I’d love to see the winery -Grgich Hills Estate- that put California wines on the map. I also like train rides and that would be such a fun way to taste wines and see the scenery pass by slowly.

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