Have you ever seen a REAL wine tasting? Basic Wine Knowledge” says ” all good wines glasses are shaped in a way that will direct the wine to the part of your mouth where its flavor will be the most appreciated. The bowls of all wine glasses will be tapered upward with a slightly narrower opening at the top than at the bottom. This shape helps capture and distribute the wine’s aroma toward your mouth and nose…In all types of wine glasses, both red and white, the bowl must be large enough to swirl your wine, opening it up to more air and allowing its aromas to be released…A red wine glass bowl will be fuller and rounder with a larger opening to allow you to dip your nose into the glass to detect the aroma…”
Seriously. Can’t you see that ? I can… and the picture in my mind was pretty much like the one of the creepy puppet fellow over to the left of this article. Notice the large nose? Dipping it into the bowl is not the problem…the problem is that he has to lower his nose pointing straight toward the sky. In my mind, the hioty -toity wine connoisseur has his pinky held up…like in the song I sang as Miss Malloy with Minnie, Cornelius and Barnaby in my highschool production of Hello Dolly, “We got elegance / If you ain’t got elegance/ You can never ever carry it off…and the way I keep my pinky up indubitably proves that …we got elegance …” Yes, indeed. But the creepy puppet pinky just looks creepy…anyway, I digress. Let’s keep focused on the business at hand (no bad pun intended).
There are four stages to wine tasting, in case you were so ignorant that you didn’t know…like I was just a few minutes ago before I looked it up:)
So say the experts…”Even though this process is called wine “tasting” it’s really more of a complete evaluation using all your senses.”
OF COURSE it is imperative that you do the tasting appropriately. When you host your next party make certain that you don’t make a fool of yourself and serve the wines in the incorrect order! first start with the light wines…sparkling, younger whites, heavier and older whiltes…rose, light, younger reds…heavier older reds…then end with dessert wines. “This way, the heavier wines don’t overwhelm your senses…!!!)”
That kind of makes me laugh too. I guess that is why I have been shocked to see people, who at the end of their “tasting”, SPIT the wine out. People, SPITTING is not included in the four recommended stages by the way…as well it shouldn’t be! What a waste of fine (or not so fine) wine. I understand the desire not to become a tipsy taster who is unable at the end to distinguish from a Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France that sells for around $15,000 a bottle or a Boone’s Hill, strawberry wine, your favorite discount drug store food aisle around $3.79 a bottle. But SPITTING? Really?
So, here are the stages because I know you are dying to learn them:
1. “Evaluating your wines appearance for color (both hue and depth), and clarity. Move the wine around in your glass, by tilting from side to side. Hold it up to the light or in front of a white background.”
Ok. And my question is, what are we looking for…no traces of bug legs? no microscopic moldy grape skin? No chunks of cork? And if there are chunks of cork is it ok to stick our finger inside to fish it out? I hope so.
…oh, I didn’t read far enough. Ha! It says, “When judging the appearance of your wine you may notice its ‘legs'”…but alas it is not speaking of bug legs. It goes on, “‘legs’ , the oily streams of liquid that run down the inside of your glass. Legs are not an indication of wine quality, simply note the presence of higher alcohol content.” ( I thought that you would want that bit of information if nothing else…legs sound like a good thing to have in a glass of wine, yes?)
2. “The second stage is evaluating your wine’s nose aroma, and bouquet. Swirl the wine gently in your glass to open it up to more surface air…the way in which your olfactory senses perceive the wine will greatly influence how your taste buds will perceive it. Dip your nose into the glass and inhale deeply.”
…do NOT, under any circumstances however dip your nose so deeply into your glass and inhale that you snuffle wine up into your olfactory! It hurts like heck. Way worse than heck. I haven’t actually ever snuffled it up…but I have been in the act of swallowing, when I had an unfortunate moment of lack of control and laughed to the point that it shot out my nose. Red wine looks absolutely vile …like you have a brain hemorrhage… or a terrible nose bleed.and it stings like a fire ant queen laid a load of babies in your sinus cavity. DO NOT stick your nose too far in. Don’t.
3.”The third stage is evaluating your wine’s taste or palate. Sip a small amount of your wine, but do not swallow it yet. Let it roll around inside your mouth for a few moments so you can detect its flavors. Experienced wine tasters will introduce air into their mouths to bring out still more aromas and flavors. You can do this by tipping your head slightly forward and down, pursing your lips as if to whistle, then breathing in through your mouth while breathing out through your nose.”
did you ever know how complicated it was to taste your wine? I had no idea. I am not sure I will be able to enjoy my jelly jar of Fetzer again. I wonder if it will taste any different if I introduce air into my mouth while I drink it…I wonder if I will be able to detect the sharp and tart acid…the overly sweet alcohol… or the astringent tannins. I hope my tannins will give my wine body and will soften it. I sure don’t care for astringent as “astringent will make your mouth pucker.” I have so many other things to worry about now. Puckering because of excessive tannins could just possibly put me right over the edge!… must think about: the right glass, whether or not there are legs in my wine…how far to dip my nose…sucking in air when my mouth is full…I really can’t handle another thing. But we aren’t done. The guide also tells me to “Note the body of your wine, or how it feels in your mouth”. Uh huh. Hhhhmmm. Keeping it PG…
4. “The final stage in the wine tasting guide is evaluating your wines’ finish, the sensation left in your mouth after swallowing. The longer the flavors linger on your palate, the longer the finish.”
Really people. These are not my words. I truly looked up an article about wine-tasting to support the inspirational quotes that I was going to write down for you today. That will just have to wait until tomorrow I think, because this has been way more entertaining (at least to me) … and it has also given you some VERY VERY valuable information that you NEEDED to know. Don’t ever say that my writing did not provide value! No need to thank me though, just invite me over for a glass (or bottle!) of wine:))
Peace and keep your nose away from dangerous places.