Wine tasting. Evaluating the color, aroma, flavor and feel as it touches each part of the mouth. To assess the quality, maturity for drinking and detect the flaws if any. Professional wine tasters and sommeliers around the world attend all 4 types of win tasting events. Each event will have its own significance in preparation and highlights. There is also a standard order and process to follow during tasting.
Types of Wine Tasting Events
- Blind Tasting
- Vertical Tasting
- Horizontal Tasting
- Flight Tasting
An example. 2 glasses. 1 is Coca Cola. 1 is Pepsi. Taste and judge. The same technique is used in wine tasting too. It helps to ensure impartial judgment of a wine. Certain blind tasting events include black wine glasses as well to mask the color of the wine. A taster’s judgment can easily be influenced when geographic origin, price, reputation, producer, vintage, color and other details are made known.
Different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery are tasted. The point is to differentiate the taste of the same wine from different years.
The wines are all from the same vintage but are from different wineries. Keeping wine variety or type and wine region the same helps emphasize differences in winery styles.
Wines presented for the intention of sampling and comparison of certain features. For example, several wines from the same region and vintage would comprise a flight or several wines from the same variety but different regions. Tasting organizers are responsible for the selection of flights to enable tasters to easily highlight the similarities and differences of the wine presented.
Tasting order is important in maintaining the accuracy of the taster’s assessment. Heavier or sweeter wines dominate lighter ones. The tasting order should be like :
- Sparkling Wines
- Light White Wines
- Heavy White Wines
- Rose Wines
- Light Red Wines
- Heavy Red Wines
- Sweet Wines
Appearance and nose alone is sufficient to determine the order of the wines that should be assessed in. Heavier wines are deeper in color and more overwhelming to the nose. Sweeter wines are denser and will leave legs down the inside of the glass when swirled.
The 5 basic steps in wine tasting (also known as the 5s) are :
The 6 characters looked at are :
- Varietal Character
The color is better judged when put against a white background. Clues to grape variety and whether the wine was aged in wood through the color.
Varietal character describes how much a wine presents its inherent grape aromas.
A wine taster also looks for integration of the non-grape components of the wine like acid, tannin, alcohol, etc. When a wine is well balanced, the wine is said to have achieved a harmonious fusion.
Expressiveness is the quality the wine possesses when its aromas and flavors are well-defined and clearly projected. Overhandling the wine bottle can disturb its expressiveness.
The complexity of the wine is affected by many factors, one of which may be the multiplicity of its flavors.
The connectedness of the wine, a rather abstract and difficult to ascertain quality, is how connected is the bond between the wine and the land where it comes from.
Pausing to experience a wine’s bouquet aids the wine taster in anticipating the wine’s flavors and focusing the palate. Once inside the mouth, the aromatics are further liberated by exposure to body heat, received by the interior pathway and delivered to the olfactory epithelium. It is here that the complex taste experience characteristic of a wine actually commences.
Thoroughly tasting a wine involves perception of its array of taste and mouthfeel attributes, which involve the combination of textures, flavors, and overall “structure”. Following appreciation of its olfactory characteristics, the wine taster savors a wine by holding it in the mouths for a few seconds to saturate the taste buds. Taste buds are also found in the larynx; therefore an extended sip or draw, in which the wine is allowed pass slowly through the mouth and past the epiglottis, presents the connoisseur with the fullest gustatory profile available to the human palate.
The acts of pausing and focusing through each step distinguishes wine tasting from simple quaffing. Through this process, the full array of aromatic molecules is captured and interpreted by approximately 15 million highly-specific sensory receptors. When tasting several wines in succession, however, key aspects of this fuller experience (length and finish, or aftertaste) must necessarily be sacrificed through expectoration.
A spittoon is usually prepared for the wine tasters to spit out the wine after tasting it. The reason is to prevent alcohol from affecting the consumer’s judgment. At formal tastings where dozens of wine are prepared, tasters will usually spit out the wine after assessing the quality.
Wine Tasting Events by Cities, Worldwide
Beer and spirit tasting as well