Raise your hand if you’ve been to a wine tasting only to learn that you have no idea how to ACTUALLY taste wine? We have to admit,Wine tasting can be a little intimidating but what if we told you that there’s no right or wrong way to taste wine?
In this post, we’re going to first break down the 5 basic steps to taste wine; Second, we’ll walk you through the different ways a wine tasting can happen and last we will introduce you to some wineries that are using innovative technology to enhance how you taste wine.
Wine tasting is simple – you either like the wine that you’re drinking or you don’t. To be an actual wine tasting pro, there are 5 basic stepsthat you should know before stepping into a wine tasting room.
These 5 basic steps are used by wine tasting pros to refine their palates and can even sharpen their ability to recall wine. What’s even better, you already have the tools to start, a brain and a glass of wine!
After reading this post you’ll leave feeling confident and ready to slay your next wine tasting!
Just look at it! After you look, swirl to release the aromatic notes. Checking out the appearance should take no more than 5 seconds. The reason you look at the wine is to see the wine’s hue or color, which can tell you a lot about the wine your drinking.
*TIP* – Hold your glass up to a white background so that you can experience the full hue of the wine you are looking at
Smelling wine prepares your brain for the wine you’re about to taste. Importantly, notice the big notes then move on to capturing the subtle smaller notes. It can be frustrating when you try to get too specific or zero in one particular note so keep these 3 categories in mind Primary (fruits), Secondary (yeast or stale beer) and Tertiary (oaky, tobacco)
*TIP*- GET YOUR WHOLE FACE INSIDE! This allows you to trap the aromas so you can really experience the notes
Take a sip and let it sit and marinate in your mouth for a few seconds. Some people like to swish the wine around their mouth like mouthwash to let it hit all their tastebuds. Afterward, you can spit it out or swallow (Try to only swallow a few since
Did you like the wine? Think about it! If so, what did you like about it? Notice any characteristics like texture when it was lingering or did it make your mouth feel dry? Was it too acidic or alcoholic?
WINE TASTING EXPERIENCES
Every winery scattered around the world offers a different experience. Wine tasting experiences can range from outdoor & indoor aesthetics, landscape, different grape varietals, and complete vineyard tours that end with a cuisine.
There are at least 5 wine tasting experiences every wine enthusiast should try:Barrel Roomtastings; Wine Bar tastings (most common);Vineyardand High-Top tastings. With each experience, the goal is to combine wines with appetizer-sized gourmet selections to enhance the palate. The concept brings the tastes of fancy restaurants to a dressed-down setting. Small plates you can expect to find at a tasting can include bread, desserts, cheeses, meats and small plates of food.
The reasons listed above are why its ideal for you to visit several tasting events. As a result, you’ll have the opportunity to be exposed to all wine tasting variations for a more fulfilling experience. In short, wine tasting is subjective, so be sure to do your research ahead of time to pick the experience that’s right for you.
WINERIES THAT ARE CHANGING THE GAME
Some wineries and vineyards make wine tasting fun by includingblind tastings, quizzesor even hand out funscorecards! How do you blind- taste exactly?Blind-tastesare grid guides that allow you to identify the characteristics of the wine; including appearance, aromas, flavors, and texture.
Wine Bar Experience
If you’re planning on making a trip to the Boston area, check out TASTE Wine Bar & Kitchen. Every week, they host a Blind Tasting & Trivia Challenge on different wines such as Spring Wines and Ancient Wines. Without a doubt, these experiences can be fun because it’s done in a large group setting so even if you go alone your bound to meet a new friend.Prefer to have your server choose your wine? Head over to BAR COVELL, where Owner Matt Kaner has no wine list and instead encourages customers to talk through their preferences with their server.
Vineyard Tour Experience
Looking for a complete Vineyard and Wine tour experience? Definitely head toPaso Robles California! You’ll have your pick of 200 wineries and vineyards to choose from for your Red, White, Rosè or Champagne tastes.Every year, the Paso Robles Community Alliance holds Vintage Paso Weekend, a Zinfandel lover’s dream. At the time this article was written, due to the recent global and national events, this year’s festival was canceled. Communication Director Chris Taranto of the alliance gives us a glimpse below of what it’s like to experience this jam-packed event.
” Typically we would host a seated seminar called, Zinposium. Winemakers are on a panel discussing Zinfandel within a theme. This year the theme was To Blend or not to Blend. Three winemakers were to show two wines, one all Zinfandel and the other a blend of Zin and other varietals. In the evening we would have the Z After Party, which was a walk around tasting with 25 wineries showing Zinfandel and Zin blends. Savory and sweet bites. And a band.“
“Over the entire weekend, about 100 wineries would host their own events. Everything from seated dinners, special tastings, barbecue’s, live music, etc. You can get a sense of it here”
~ Christopher Taranto, Paso Robles Communications Director
WINE TASTING & TECHNOLOGY
The world is changing so fast and technology is all around us. With that being said, it’s a no brainer that the Wine Industry would also jump on the software bandwagon.Winemakers (Vintners) are changing the way you experience your next wine tasting by using innovative technology to enhance the aromas and wine notes. For wine drinkers who try many wines over time, keeping detailed wine tasting notes is a must. Below are a few North American wineries using innovative tech and software.
Fox Run Vineyardsin Penn Yan, NY was the first winery in the country to use VineSleuth.VineSleuth, created by owner and developer Amy Gross, is an iPad-assisted tasting experience that lets consumers discover which wines they might like by matching their preferences with the characteristics of specific wines in its database.
“Wine is for everybody, But too often, people find it intimidating. We got on board with this to see if we can find a way to make it less intimidating.”
~ Fox Run owner Scott Osborn
Robert Mondavi Wineryis another winery disrupting the wine industry by using software technology. Robert Mondavi Winery has been named the best vineyard in Napa Valley, CA and has been around since 1966. They wanted to keep up with modern times as well as enhance the wine tasting experience, so they came up with an idea for an app that would give their guests knowledge about the grounds and wine itself.
Mondavi developed an app with Slalom, a consulting company that would allow them to use Apple’siBeaconlocation services on your smartphone. Once you’re on the Mondavi vineyard, the iBeacon app opens a map of the Mondavi grounds that includes three wine tasting spots and three restrooms. The app also has 8 spots located throughout the winery for those perfect vineyard pictures that you can upload to your Facebook without ever leaving the app.
Mondavi makes its wines memorable with its app technology by allowing its customers to get around the winery, learn more about wine and create memories with the photos they’ve taken.
At the end of the day, chances are you won’t go wrong with whatever wine tasting you choose, so try not to overthink it and just enjoy the moment!
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