A Brief Guide to Wine Tasting

051010 Cork Head 4

Play fun cork games during the 2011 Harvest Wine Tour of Olympic Peninsula Wineries.

The Harvest Wine Tour of our Olympic Peninsula Wineries starts today. We hope to see many familiar faces and welcome new people to the Washington State wineries and cideries of Port Townsend, the Chimacum Valley, and Port Angeles.

Please read on for a brief guide to wine tasting. We hope this will help you negotiate and appreciate the wines you sample this weekend.

Wine tasting is about more than just taste. It examines the sight, scent, and taste of wine. The experience begins with the uncorking (which is why many restaurants offer the cork for sniffing), and ends when the aftertaste has faded.

Be sure to note the following aspects:

  • The appearance of the wine in the glass. Hold your glass up the light and tilt it. Note the colors. Then swirl the wine and watch the legs run down the sides of the glass – the thicker and slower the legs, the fuller the body of the wine will be. Think of the difference between skim milk and whole milk.
  • The aroma of the wine in the glass. Swirl the wine for about 10 seconds, then put the glass to your nose and breathe deeply. Do this a few times. How many various scents can you distinguish?
  • The taste of the wine. Take a sip and savor it before you swallow. Does it have a heavy or light texture (again, think of skim vs whole milk). Is it sweet? Fruity? Dry?
  • The finish of the wine, or aftertaste. How does the wine linger in your mouth after the sip has been swallowed?

Consider a wine’s complexity, character, and potential. Would you enjoy drinking this wine alone, or do you think it would be best served with food? If served with food, what kind of food? Spicy, sweet? Rich and creamy? Meaty?

We look forward to seeing you tasting Washington State Wine this weekend during the Harvest Wine Tour of Olympic Peninsula Wineries. Enjoy the wine and cider you taste. Have fun with the experience. Drink responsibly and pace yourself. Cheers!

 

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