Is Wine Tasting for Real?
Have you ever seen people taste wine, whether in tv or film, and thought to yourself: “That seems like total bs.” Conversely, have you ever seen a wine tasting and thought to yourself: “That seems interesting, but is it real?” Technically, both observations would be correct and like so many other things…it’s complicated.
The Nose Knows!
Wine tasting is complicated by the fact that the human palate is the least reliable of all five senses, thus clouding our ability to accurately evaluate wine. But while our taste buds might lack efficiency, our sense of smell is irrefutably the most accurate. Unlike sights and sounds, smells are sophisticated, made up of hundreds of different fragrant molecules. The scent of a rose, for example, has roughly 275 of them.
When you smell a wine, you’re offering your brain a chance to engage in a whirlwind of sensation. Our sense of smell has a remarkable effect on the way our brain processes flavor. If you want to better understand just how profound, hold your nose and then put a strawberry in your mouth and start to chew. Halfway through chewing, release your nose.
You’ll immediately notice how much more you actually taste when you have your sense of smell. This is why smell is so vital when it comes to tasting a wine.
Put simply via Wikipedia:
The sense of smell and detecting the aromas in wine is the primary means through which wine is tasted and evaluated. Prior to tasting the wine, wine drinkers will often smell the wine in the glass. Large bowl glasses with tapered openings, some of which are specifically designed to enhance aromatics of different wines, can assist in capturing more aromatics within the glass for the drinker to detect.
If you want to experience the entirety of what wine truly has to offer, always be sure to smell it first!
It’s all in the cork
The key to telling whether a wine is good or not lies with the cork. For example, is the wine corked? A corked wine is not pleasant to drink if it leads to cork taint. This occurs when a chemical compound called “TCA” contaminates the cork.
Regarding the issue of cork taint, via Kitchn.com:
“It is unlikely that the problem potential can ever be totally eradicated, but after a period of sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring the problem, the key players in the cork industry did set about finding a solution and today several advanced QA/QC procedures and treatments are in place to render cork less susceptible to developing cork taint.”
We at Laurita Winery put a great deal of time and dedication in ensuring that all of our corked bottles are up to perfection,
So is wine tasting really real and something we can wholly rely on?
If we’ve learned anything while inhabiting this spinning blue rock, it’s that nothing is what it seems. While some things, like gravity, are grounded in hard evidence, other things are more anecdotal. Wine tasting seems to fall into the latter category; not exactly a true “science”, but but junk science either.
At the end of the day, what matters is that you enjoy it with your friends and make memories that last a life time.