Friday, April 10, 2015

How to Properly Taste Wine

Drinking wine is a lot different than tasting wine. You could drink wine the same way you drink a beer or a mixed drink, but you wouldn't be getting the whole experience. To experience the true flavor of a Seven Springs Wine, you must slow down and pay attention to your senses. There are 3 basic steps for tasting wine: Look, Smell and Taste.

1. Look. 

The first step is to just examine the wine in your glass. You want to fill the glass about 1/3 of the way up. Start by looking straight down into the glass. By looking down, you get a sense of the depth of color, which gives a clue to the density and saturation of the wine. Next hold the glass up to the light and tilt it so the wine rolls toward the edge of the glass. (Never hold the glass by its bowl, only by the stem as your hand will quickly warm the liquid.) This will allow you to see the complete color range of the wine and not just the dark center. 
If the color is consistent from the core all the way out to the rim, you can guess that the wine has some age to it. Whereas if the rim has more of a watery color, the wine is probably pretty young.While murky wine could be a sign of chemical or fermentation problems, it might just be that the wine was unfiltered or has some sediment due to being shaken up before being poured. A wine that looks clear and brilliant, with some sparkle is always a good sign. Finally it is important to give the glass a good swirl to really open up in the glass and aerate. Notice how the wine runs down the sides of the glass. Wines that form good legs are wines with more alcohol and glycerin content, which generally means they are bigger, riper, more mouth-filling and dense than those that do not.   

2. Smell. 

After you've swirled the wine, it's time to take a sniff. Don't bury your nose in the glass, but simply hover over the top and take a series of quick, short sniffs. Now step away and let the smell sink in. Try to look for any of the following aromas to help you better understand the wine's characteristics:
  • Fruit Aromas
    • Wine is made from grapes, so it should smell like fresh fruit, unless it is very old, very sweet or very cold. Fruit scents can help you identify the growing conditions. 
  • Flowers, Leaves, Herbs, Spices & Vegetables
    • Floral aromas are common in cool climate white wines. 
    • Another common aroma might be characterized as earthy, meaning scents of mushrooms, damp earth, leather and rock.
    • Scents of earth, mineral and rock sometimes exist in the very finest white and red wines.
  • Wine Barrel Aromas
    • If you smell toast, smoke, vanilla, chocolate, espresso, roasted nuts, or even caramel in a wine, you are most likely picking up scents from aging in new oak barrels.
  • Secondary Aromas
    • Young white wines and young sparkling wines may have a scent very reminiscent of beer due to the yeast. 
    • Some dessert wines smell strongly of honey, which is evidence of botrytis, often called noble rot. 
    • A smell of buttered popcorn or caramel means that wine has most likely been put through a secondary malolactic fermentation, which softens the wine and opens up the aromas. 
    • Older wines have more complex, less fruity aromas.

Wine Flaws
  • Look for off-aromas that indicate a wine is spoiled. 
  • If you smell burnt matches, the wine may have been bottled with a strong dose of SO2. This will blow off with some vigorous swirling. 
  • If you smell vinager, that indicates volatile acidity. 
  • If you smell nail polish remover, it is ethyl acetate. 
  • An undesirable yeast smell indicates Brettanomyces. A little bit of "brett" gives red wines an earthy, leathery component, while too much obliterates all the flavors of fruit. 

3. Taste. 

Once you have looked at and smelled the wine, it's finally time to taste it! Take a sip rather than a large gulp. Try sucking on it as if you were pulling it through a straw; this simply aerates the wine and circulates it throughout your mouth. If you've done your sniffing thoroughly, the taste should follow right along where the aromas left off. Aside from the flavors, you are also using your taste buds to determine if the wine is:
  • Balanced - A balanced wine should have its basic flavor components in good proportion. Our taste buds detect sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. If a wine is too sour, too sugary, too astringent, too hot (alcoholic), too bitter, or too flabby (lack of acid) then it is not a well-balanced wine.
  • Harmonious - A harmonious wine has all of its flavors seamlessly integrated. It's possible for the components to be proportioned well, but not blended together. 
  • Complex - Complex wines seem to dance in your mouth. They change, even as you’re tasting them. Simply note how long the flavors linger after you swallow.
  • Complete - A complete wine is balanced, harmonious, complex and evolved, with a lingering, satisfying finish.
Now that you understand the basics of wine tasting, it's time to give it a try! Come on in to our Lake of the Ozarks winery for a taste. Sample any 3 of our wines for FREE or sample all 12 for just $8 and receive a wine glass as a souvenir! See you soon! 

Come for the wine...Stay for the atmosphere...Remember the view! 

Seven Springs is the finest Winery at the Lake of the Ozarks with a full service facility perfect for outdoor weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, corporate events and parties.  Call us today to make reservations for your special event!

Seven Springs Winery
846 Winery Hills Estates
Linn Creek, MO 65052

No comments:

Post a Comment