Wine Tasting: A Primer
Wine is one of the most famous symbols of a pleasurable life. As such, these drinks are held in a very high pedestal in culture. Countless advertisements, stories, and even music videos have made wine into a symbol of belonging to the good and successful life. Truly, wine tasting has become an icon for man’s greatest triumphs and successes.
A select few people, such as wine connoisseurs and wine tasters, have developed a fine skill for determining the best and worst in each wine bottle that they consume. Many people today see assessing wine not just as a way to get liquored up, but as a perfectly enjoyable hobby.
Wine tasting is a process that involves the consumption of wine and the assessment of how it affects each of the main senses. The main criteria for wine tasting revolve around four of the five the main senses of the body, namely: sight, taste, feel, and odor.
Appearance is often the first aspect of wine to be assessed by wine tasters. Wine tasters prefer versatility in pleasuring the senses, which is why physical appearance is also critically considered. The appearance of the wine is often tasted by placing a moderate amount of the beverage into a clear glass, tilting it up to 45o, and checking the color, clearness of liquid, and the amount of bubbles that emanate, as well as the viscosity of the wine.
After checking the look of the wine, odor is commonly the next factor to be checked. The strength and quality of the fragrance is checked during this phase, in order to know how the wine will affect the olfactory senses. This is often done by swirling the contents which releases more of the particles that induce the aroma of the wine.
The wine taster then proceeds to the main essence of the experience: the tasting of the wine. This aspect is commonly divided into different parts. Some of the information required from the tasting process is the sensations of sweetness or sourness, the different physical effects such as body heat, the astringency (a rough sensation which coats the mouth), as well as the amount of time it takes for these sensations to last.
Another sub-phase is to determine its odor during consumption. Whereas during the second part of the entire process, the wine taster focuses on its odor within the glass, this part focuses on the scent of the wine as it affects the different parts of the mouth. One common practice during this activity is to aspirate while the wine is in the mouth, allowing the scent to be experienced in a greater scale.
Lastly, the after smell of the wine is assessed – once the wine has been consumed, it is required that the vapors of the wine be breathed out. This will determine the lingering odors that exist even after consumption, as well as the quality and amount of time the fragrance lasts. Together, these processes summarize the steps and information done and collected during the process of wine tasting.