6/24/08

Look at that Wine..!

Tasting wine is great fun..! Unfortunately, the first step of wine tasting tends to be the most…overlooked. (That’s a clue and a pun!)

In sampling or “tasting” wines, you really want to fill up all your senses with the wine, not just your taste buds. In fact, let me just say that “wine tasting” is really an inappropriate term. It just doesn’t cover all the aspects this practice.

“Hey honey, let’s go wine sniffing..!” In the literal sense that would be equally as correct (one-third of the process) as wine tasting.

Enough of the mini-rant, let me get back on point…

Open your eyes..!

The first sense or “third” used is sight, but using your eyes tends to be the least deliberated aspect of wine tasting. I want to bring this back to the forefront, to make sure that you fellow “Connies” out there are getting the full experience.

Color and clarity. To break it down, these are the two characteristics you want to have in mind as you view the wine in glass.

Color can really tell you quite a bit about a wine, including clues to the age and type of grapes used. The bigger, more robust wines such as Cabernet tend to start life darker and inkier in color. Something less heavy such as a Pinot Noir will normally be a bit paler in shade. Over time these red wines will fade a bit – this is a slow, decades long process – and begin to show an almost brick color with brown tints. White wines tend to age in the opposite manner, as they will darken over time.

Also note that the vineyard climate shows up in the color depth, as well. A cooler climate tends to produce a paler wine. As an example, a Chardonnay from Australia will tend to start life a bit darker or richer in color than one from the milder Burgundy region of France.

As for clarity, age again has an effect here as older reds tend to be more translucent or clear. Youth will add an opaque, dense quality.

OK..! Now that the eyes have it, when enjoying that glass of wine remember to look before you leap…! (or should I say sniff?)

0 comments :