– The tasting –
An essential step to enjoy a wine but not always easy for neophytes or moment of exchange and transmission of knowledge for the winemaker, good tasting must be organized in the best conditions.
Thus we ensure to organize this in a well-lit room (natural light if possible), odorless and have white surfaces to fully enjoy the gown of wines to taste. Also, take care not to have persistent taste in the mouth when starting your tasting. Chewing gum, toothpaste, tobacco, all of which would disturb your senses and betray your palate. A simple piece of bread is enough otherwise to remove these parasites tastes.
Finally, make sure the glasses are identical in order to not distort your perception. Ideally we will choose glasses tightened up to concentrate the flavors. They will not be filled above the third in order to properly aerate the wine. Similarly, in order not to heat it, we take care to seize the container by foot.
Once these conditions are met, a tasting in three steps can begin.
- The sight
- The nose
- The mouth
This observation may be obviously first and foremost, the presence of cork particles in the glass, indicating that the wine was probably poorly preserved (or badly outlet) and can therefore be corked. But besides this first observation, the visual examination also can analyze the color of the wine, which can include information about the age of this one. Indeed, aging the wine has a tendency to make more amber or orange hues, the original color of red wines being closer to the purple or ruby. We also note the intensity of the color, revealing the richness and the concentration of the wine.
Different colors of the wine: light purple, medium ruby, dark fawn …
By placing the wine in front of a light source, then we can observe the clearness. A slightly cloudy wine can mean greater astringency but not necessarily of poor quality, some producers voluntarily choosing not to clarify their wine. The brightness shows information on the wine’s acidity. More this one has to shine and he may have good acidity, giving this one a refreshing look at wine when it is precisely balanced. A more matte appearance will indicate about it a wine probably older with more roundness and complexity.
After rotating the wine in the glass a few seconds, we can observe the tears. These are in fact wine drops which remain attached to the glass and flow more slowly than the rest of the liquid. These drops are charged of alcohol and glycerol, causing sensations of heat in the mouth. More they are thick and slow to flow; more wine provides an oiliness impression. But this impression can also vary depending on the glass used. A glass slightly eroded by time or covered with an imperceptible layer of limestone can distort the descent of the tears and disturbing perception.
Finally, by slightly tilting your glass (we will keep it vertical for white wines), you can watch the disc. This slightly translucent delimitation shows information about the cellaring potential of the wine. More the disc is thicker more the guard will be long.
Once the careful observation is over, you can proceed to the next step: the nose.
The olfactory examination is done in two stages. An initial examination “at rest”, that means without having to stir the wine beforehand, determines the aromas called “primaries” that are most volatile. The second nose is the olfactory examination of the wine after running it a few seconds in the glass making it possible to intensify the flavors and allow less volatile among them to develop. This is called secondary aromas. Finally, the tertiary aromas are perceived after thirty seconds and they are more discreet without doubt.
The olfactory examination is a delicate stage and often a source of discussion and exchange. Indeed, so that we can recognize a flavor, you must have already perceived and stored it before. The perception is relatively subjective, since it appeals to past experiences of each. Similarly, some people will be more sensitive to certain types of flavors (aromas of spices, fruits, wood …). Discuss their perceptions with other tasters allows often to arouse his nose with flavours that would have spent more time to perceive tasting himself.
As the olfactory examination, the tasting itself is subjective in that it uses the past experiences that recognizes an aroma or a flavor that has already had the opportunity to meet and then memorize. Like the olfactory ant the gustatory, sensitivities also differ from one taster to another. Some will be more sensitive and sweet, while others will feel more acidity or bitterness of a wine.
Anyway, tasting not only determines the wine’s aromas and can also be divided into three “stages”. So, the attack is the first sensations that gives the wine during the first two or three seconds. Is the wine lively, flexible, aggressive?
The “middle” proves flavors and tactile sensations: astringency, viscosity, lubricity, heat …
Finally, the “final” corresponding to impressions left by the wine in mouth after it has been spat out or swallowed. This is expressed in caudalies (1 caudalie = 1 second). More the finish is long and more the wine is qualitative