Tom's Back Block - archive
December 08 Edition:
As we are focusing on our wines this newsletter I thought we should look at a
basic (Look, Smell, Taste) 3 step method for tasting and drinking wine.
First step is a visual examination. Best done by tilting the glass and looking at the wine through the rim, to see the variation from the deepest part of the liquid to its edges.
- Clarity is an indication of the character and condition of the wine.
- Colour (intensity and hue) generally a darker colour and a difference in colour from the centre of the glass to the edge can indicate oxidation, which may be a delibrate part of the winemaking, an error, or a natural part of maturation in bottle.
- Next is the swirling. The ‘tears’ left on the inside of the glass after swirling can indicative of the amount of glycerol and alcohol present in the wine.
When you stop swirling it's time to take a sniff. Agitating the wine vapourises it, and the thin sheet of liquid on the glass evapourates quickly. The result is an intensification of the aromas.
- Inhale and try and identify as many flavour compounds as possible
- Aromas refer to the smells derived from grapes and include fruit descriptors(eg. lemon) and herbs and spices.
- Bouquet refers to smells derived from the winemaking process such as characters formed by yeasts, specific fermentation techniques or type and size of maturation vessel.
Now comes the best part. Take in small mouthful but do not swallow. Roll and swish the wine around in your mouth by pursing your lips and inhaling through the wine and then chew the wine vigorously sloshing it around in your mouth.
- The texture of a wine can provide clues as to how the wine is made
- Progression of the flavour from when the wine enters your mouth to after you swallow, is an indicator of the quality of the wine, a long aftertaste is generally a positive indication of quality.
- After looking, smelling and tasting, make an overall assessment of the wine - a lasting impression of harmony and balance is considered desirable and easiest to enjoy.
If you are keen to learn more about wine Swinging Bridge have Wine Dinners during the year to provide different levels of education.