Tasting the wine is more than just drinking
“Tasting wines, rather than simply drinking increases our appreciation of the wine by allowing us to examine it in detail. Although the process can seem repetitive at first, with practice it becomes a subconscious habit.”-
This is how my text books starts the introduction to next level wine enthusiast.
I was chatting with my friends in the local bar just of Columbia Road, Shoreditch. When I told them I am now writing this blog about wines and I am planning a wine tasting evening they got excited.
Then a barrel of aged opinions and vintage statements poured over me.
Some of them said that they don’t do whites, so please don’t bother doing whites on the tasting, others said they don’t do blends as this is not the ”real wine” … but the charming thing was that all of them were honest to say they actually don’t know a lot and want to learn more.
So where do we start?
I understand these views and I have been there. Going to wine classes and support my passion scientifically changed my perception of wines and my attitude.
I am not saying you need to have a degree, you just need to read my blog!
Here’s some tips:
You and the wine – it is a relationship, with a story before and with a story after you.
Be open minded with wines, like you can be with work, ideas, people. Try to find out why?
Give it a chance, we give this advice to all of our friends, when they are in trouble with their dates, new encounters, or new jobs. Don’t be disappointed if this is not for you, move to the next one.
Buy wines over certain price, there are only taxes in the bottle of the cheap wines.
What is the price range of wine you should buy is a difficult question. I personally would buy wine not less than £8 pound and not more than £15 – £20. Equally don’t go for the price as a criterion. You can spend loads and get nothing out of it. I will try to recommend reasonable wines, if you follow my blog.
Get to know your local wine merchant. If you tell them what you like, they will be able to advise you and update you, if something new is coming or stick to your traditional taste. If you go to the supermarket, try an award winner, if you can.
Buy from a shelve, which is far from light or heat, this can affect the taste.
Learn how to read labels, this is easy, but important and I can help. French wines are difficult to understand, unless you don’t know what region produce the actual variety. The New World wines tell you what is the grape, European wines not always. Look for controlled areas, these wines are subject to specific quality control.
Taste before drinking. There are few very simple steps.
Learn to smell, then taste, understand the body of the wine and measure how long the taste is going to stay in your mouth, before it disappears – this is called finish.
The longer you can taste it, the better the wine is. There are more to it, but I promise a separate post on the basic tasting techniques. Also welcome to my VineTimes.Lonond Wine Club tasting evenings.
Take the wine at right temperature with the right food. Red shouldn’t be too hot, white lose it’s taste when too cold.
Most of the time food and wine pairing is a matter of personal preferences, but wrong combinations can spoil the experience.
Strong curry with good red is a disaster. Get some ideas from my pairing posts.
Be adventures. when choose the county of origin, or the blends of the varieties.
Start from something that you believe is your pallet, my recommendations:
for red newbies try some beautiful blends like the Bordeaux Wines (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), Spanish Rioja (Syrah and Grenache), Argentinian Malbec (often blended with Merlot).
If you want to start from the whites – go for Sauvignon Blanc from NZ, or slightly more expensive French Chardonnay.
This is a brief direction, which I will sophisticate throughout our journey together.