The Path to Wine Wisdom… Step 4
We mere mortals have been stumbling along the path (and hopefully you’ve been following!) on our quest to become wine gods.
(Photo courtesy of Disney)
With the steps neatly laid out for us by HuffPo and Vine Pair, we’ve traveled most of the way! We’ve mastered steps one (Look at your wine), two (Swirl), and three (Smell your wine). And now we come to the fourth and final step, the one we’ve all been waiting on…
Take a sip of your wine.
Don’t gulp, don’t slurp, and for the love of all that is holy, do not chug your wine. Sip.
Sip and allow the wine to remain in your mouth a moment. Swish it gently… or don’t. Experts disagree as to whether this is necessary to spread the wine to all the tastebuds. But the overall idea is to hold it and feel it and really think about what you taste.
Do you taste any of the things you smelled when sniffing? Do you taste fruit? Wood? Earthy or minerally notes? Is the wine sweet or dry? Just like when we smelled the wine, there are no wrong answers.
Now swallow, and pay attention to the lingering flavor of the wine.
Many inexpensive wines are rather pleasant to the nose and taste great on the way down, but once you’ve swallowed the taste vanishes leaving you with a short to nonexistent ‘finish’.
Does your wine have a satisfying finish? Do the flavors leave their mark? Try several sips, and keep evaluating.
And finally, put it all together and determine whether the wine is balanced.
No, not like that.
Ask yourself whether there’s harmony between the sensations. Is the alcohol balanced by the tannins? How do the acidity and fruits interplay with those elements and others? No single aspect of the wine should stick out above the others.
And whatever your answer, you’re correct. Taste is personal and subjective, and only you know what you like in a wine. So… do you like the wine? If so, excellent! You’ve correctly identified a good wine!
And congratulations! You have now completed all the steps along the path to wine-godhood! Grab your little hat with the leaves and grapes, and we’ll meet you in the tasting room!