A Wine Fiesta hosted by Straits Wine offered a masterclass tasting session as part of their event. Below are a few things I learned from attending.
A wine can be judged based on three things:
In white wines, the greener the wine, the cooler the climate.
Color can be pale, medium or pronounced. How to tell: Place your fingers on the top of the base. If you can see them through the wine, it is pale. If you cannot, move your fingers to area where the stem meets the cup. If you can see your fingers here, it’s medium, and if not, it’s pronounced.
Clarity: Is the wine cloudy or clear? A wine is hazy when it is either unfiltered, or flawed. Some wines that are unfiltered are delicious.
The bouquet of a wine can also be light, medium or pronounced. If you hold the rim of the glass under your chin and can smell the wine after swirling, it has a pronounced nose. It’s medium if you can smell it with the rim of your glass under your bottom lip, and it’s light if you can smell it right before your nose.
It’s important to smell what is in your mouth, and some people suck air in through their teeth to aerate the wines.
You can check acidity by swallowing then opening your mouth and bending down so your nose is directly above the floor. The amount of saliva that struggles to escape from your mouth is an indicator of how high in acidity the wine is. The more you salivate the higher the acidity.
Important tasting tip: Water has a higher pH level than wine, and will dilute the wine when mixed in, even in small doses. So you should never rinse your wine glass out with water. Instead, use a little bit of the wine you’re about to taste, and rinse with that. It’s better to rinse with any kind of wine (sans fortified) than water.
Check out my previous post on wine tasting etiquette here.