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Wine Tasting

Why swish? While it was originally thought that certain regions on the tongue detected specific flavours, we now know this is not true. The front and back of the tongue contain the taste buds and rather than specializing in a particular taste sensation, all taste buds are capable of detecting sweet, sour, bitter and salty flavours, although there may be some slight differences in sensitivity. So that you get the most out of your taste buds, when tasting wine, swish the wine around your mouth, which will allow all of your taste buds (and your sense of smell) to participate in the detection of the finer flavours of the wine. To develop your senses in the methods explained below you will need to practice. It is advised that you join a wine club of some kind so you can not only be exposed to a wide variety of wines but also save yourself money in the process while you practice. Smell and Taste Have you ever tried desperately to detect flavour from a food or beverage when you had a terrible cold? You probably tasted very little, if anything at all. Research indicates that 70 to 75% of what we taste is actually due to our sense of smell. Specialized “aroma” nerves in the nose are necessary to identify tastes more subtle than sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Smell and taste go hand-in-hand when wine tasting . . . without your sense of smell you would be unable to detect the delicate flavours of chocolate, herbs or smoke in your wine. Wine Tasting Techniques Wine tasting is not just like art, it is an art. While wine tasting can be subjective in nature, wine connoisseurs follow some general “guidelines” when judging a wine. It”s very easy to learn the techniques of wine tasting, and if you already enjoy wine, learning the nuances will simultaneously increase the pleasure you derive from tasting. The Three Steps in Wine Tasting are: Look, Smell and Taste Look You can tell much about a wine simply by studying its appearance. The wine should be poured into a clear glass and held in front of a white background (a tablecloth or piece of paper will serve nicely) so that you can examine the colour. The colour of wine varies tremendously, even within the same type of wine. For example, white wines are not actually white; they range from green to yellow to brown. More colour in a white wine usually indicates more flavour and age, although a brown wine may have gone bad. Where as time improves many red wines, it ruins most white wines. Red wines are not just red; they range from a pale red to a deep brown red, usually becoming lighter in colour as they age. Rim colour: You can guess the age of a red wine by observing its “rim.” Tilt the glass slightly and look at the edge of the wine. A purple tint may indicate youth while orange to […]

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