Saturday August 31, 2013
Downtown Culver City
9300 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, 92000
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How to taste wine like a pro
A wine taster is often asked how he/she can possibly spit out all that delicious wine.
Spitting allows you to get the impression of the wine without the alcohol, which is a necessity since they regularly taste between 50 to100 wines per week.
Spitting or swallowing is actually the last part of the tasting process, which begins when you pick up the glass. Here are the four S’s of wine tasting that will get you sipping like a pro:
See: Look at the color and clarity of a wine, preferably holding the glass over a white piece of paper or tablecloth. Color will give you indications of the grape variety and also tell you things about how the wine is made and its age. For example, a wine that has been in oak barrels – as many Chardonnays are – will be more gold in color than whites aged in steel tanks. An older white wine will look darker than a younger white wine.
Swirl: Do you know why we swirl? Technically to release the aromas and fruity esters of the wine, but all we’re really doing is making the wine comfortable in the glass. Begin swirling by making small circles with the glass on the table. Make sure your glass isn’t too full or you’ll rank as the sloppy swirler of the group.
Smell: Swirling stirs the wine up and allows it to coat the sides of the glass so you can smell the wine better. Smelling a wine is the most important part of wine tasting because you can detect thousands of smells but only a handful of tastes. Take a good long sniff and ask yourself what you smell – fruits, veggies, flowers, butter, spices, herbs? Let your mind go wild – there’s no wrong answer.
Sip: Take a sip and swish it around in your mouth. This coats your mouth with the wine, much like swirling does in the glass, and allows you to assess the wine better. Again, ask yourself questions about the aromas and flavors, then think about the way the wine feels and tastes in your mouth:
•Is it light, medium, or full-bodied? (Higher-alcohol wines generally have a fuller body and heavier impression in your mouth than light to medium-bodied lower-alcohol wines.)
•Does it feel smooth or taste tart?
•Do you taste sweetness?
•Is there a pleasant, lingering aftertaste (called the finish)?
Most importantly, do you like the wine? If you can’t figure it out, you may need another sip … then another, then another … Enjoy the African wine