I’ve attended quite a few wine tastings along my wine journey. On a surface level it’s one of the best ways to know which styles of wine you like; sweet -dry – red -white- rose -sparkling. On a deeper level you learn about where your favorite wine styles come from and who makes them. And at its core, wine tastings surround you with people who have the same interest as you and the same thirst for receiving and sharing knowledge.
A wealth of information can be had especially when you have the right presenter who can take you through the “whys” of wine. Like why does it taste the way it tastes? Or how does the area it comes from affect the way it tastes? Or what is the wine makers philosophy? Hopefully the presenter can walk you through the wines’ journey in a manner that sounds like English and not Greek.
Along my journey I have learned that there are certain protocols that need to be had when attending wine tastings to get the most benefit out of your experience. Here are the ones you can start using today:
- Never ever wear perfume or cologne. It doesn’t affect your ability to smell a wine, it affects everyone around you and their ability to smell their wine.
- Never wear white. Yes, there is wine stain remover, but why chance it. Red wine on white cloths is a pain to deal with.
- Don’t chew gum, it impedes your taste buds.
- There is usually a dump bucket for those that don’t want to swallow a wine they don’t like the taste of….that’s fine, but never ever dump Champagne. It’s Champagne for goodness sakes!
- Bring a notepad. Right down important factors about the wines you liked and why. Write in your own way, using your own wording. Specific regions like Bordeaux have pockets of land that produce wines that range from the generic to the sublime. Make note of the differences you tasted when comparing wines. Wording can be simple like…”it tastes like cherries and bark” or “it reminds me of limeade without the sugar”. Your notes are the key to what you like and a reference for future wine purchases.
- Ask questions. How will you learn and know anything about wine if you don’t ask questions.
- Bring your cell phone to take pictures. Take pictures of the wines you like. Make a subsection in your phones picture gallery just for wines you like. We live in the age where you don’t have to scratch your head trying to remember the label of a particular bottle. Take a picture, front and back. If you’re not at a winery tasting the back is important because the back tells you who the importer is, and if you like a particular style of wine from a certain importer most likely you will like some of the other wines that importer imports as well.
- Don’t drink too much….it’s a tasting.
- Have an open mind. Sample wines from places you’ve never heard of. That’s why you are there.
- When you taste a wine…taste the wine. Be mindful of the sensations, the flavors, the nuances. Be mindful of its uniqueness as a beverage like no other in the world. You’d be surprised at the epiphanies you can have when you actually think about what you are tasting…after all, wine is an art form.
Enjoy and Happy Tasting!
(P.S. share this with your friends)