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Top tips for wine tasting

We love great wine. It's hard to beat opening a beautifully chilled bottle to enjoy with friends, but making the most of your palate can do wonders in elevating flavours and textures. Here are our top wine tasting tips:
1. Look
Firstly check the colour of your chosen wines and look for opacity, clarity and viscosity (wine legs). Most bottles will provide the answers you are looking for in appearance so don’t worry about spending too much time on this (i.e. vintage, grape varieties). Clarity in wine is its ability to absorb light – every wine should have a sharp clarity.

2. Smell
It’s easy to get caught up in trying to guess the exact and intended aromas with wine. It’s better and far less frustrating to theme smells, such as forest fruits or berries. Smells can be loosely divided into three aromas:

• Primary – grape derivative and fruit driven with herbal and floral notes
• Secondary – these come from the winemaking process, including nut husk, yeast, and cheese rind
• Tertiary – age dictates the final aroma as a result of bottle or possibly oak storage and are mostly savoury including spice, vanilla, leaves

3. Taste
The main sensation we have is taste. This is twofold – our tongues to observe and once swallowed we experience wine retro-nasally which may alter the aromas. Again, taste can be divided into three key main areas:

• Taste – our tongues can detect salty, sour, sweet or bitter notes. All wines include sour tastes due to the acidic nature of grapes, but this varies with climate and type. Sweetness cannot be smelt, only tasted with our tongues.
• Texture – the higher alcohol and riper wine content tends to mean bigger textures. We all know that red wine leaves a dryer sensation, this is due to tannins. Again our tongues are key in determining texture.
• Length – taste is time-based with a journey of flavours resulting in different stages. There is a beginning, mid-palate and finish.

4. Conclude
Trust you senses and conclude the overall balance of the wine. Were the flavours correct? Too acidic? Too tannic? Were there any unique characteristics or memorable notes?

Want to find out even more?

Then join us at our wine tasting dinners!

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