By Suzi Rosenberg, Guest Blogger | Best Travel Deals Tips Blog
Wine Tasting Tips
I'm not a wine connoisseur, or an aficionado, or a wine snob, or an expert. But I've had a lot of fun visiting wineries, talking to vintners, and tasting wines throughout the California Wine Country! And I have some wine tasting tips for you!
You don't have to be an expert to visit and taste and learn. And you don't have to have an educated or sophisticated palate either. All you need is a desire to give it a try and have some fun.
Here are some tips from the experts for getting the most out of your wine tasting experience:
- If you're interested in tasting the full range of wines available in the tasting room, start with the lightest whites, then move on to the reds, and end with the dessert wines - your host will help with this
- You don't need to taste all of the wines if you'd rather not - you might want to stick with the reds, or only try a certain varietal
- Look at the wine, holding it up to the light and note its color and its clarity - even "white" wines have a wide range of coloration, and as we all know from the myriad of cooking shows on TV, we feast with our eyes before feasting with our mouths
- Next use your sense of smell, which is very closely related to the sense of taste - swirl the wine in the glass to aerate it and release its aromas, then give it a sniff and see what aromatic flavors you can detect
- Finally the tasting: take a sip of the wine, but don't swallow immediately - allow the wine to hit all parts of your tongue as each area (tip, inner sides, outer sides, and back) "specializes" in identifying different aspects of flavor
- Once you've tasted, you can swallow the wine or you can spit it into the provided vessel (this is perfectly acceptable, particularly if you're tasting several wines and want to keep your wits about you) - either way, be sure to notice the aftertaste or "finish" of the wine
- It's also perfectly acceptable to pour out the rest of the wine in your glass if you only want the one sip for whatever reason - don't worry, it's not considered rude
- If the winery or wine tasting room provides water or a neutral food (like plain crackers), use these to refresh your palate between wines - it will give you a "cleaner" tasting of each varietal
- Read the Tasting Notes and compare your sensory conclusions to what you're reading and hearing - the more you learn, the better your experience will be
- Throughout the process, be sure to talk to your host and ask questions about the wine, the grapes, the wine-making process, the winery, and the tasting experience - your server will enjoy helping to enhance your experience
And remember: everyone's palate is different and some are more highly developed than others. The most important thing is that you find a wine (or wines) that YOU like and then enjoy!
By The Way, your host may use the word, terroir (pronounced "tair-wahr") - it's a French word meaning "terrain" and, explained briefly, it has to do with the differences in growing conditions from one group of vines to another, including such things as soil type, weather, amount of humidity, sun exposure, etc., and how these elements affect the wine produced from those grapes.
That's all there is to it! I hope you've found these wine tasting tips to be helpful & that your next wine tasting trip is just around the corner!
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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer
For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more