How to taste the wine



Generally, if people are modest, they do not understand their capacity for perception when they first begin to taste wine. On the other hand, there are pretentious people who without understanding how to use their taste buds adequately manage to describe their appreciation in metaphors that may be geometrical or even esoteric, which only turn the wider public away from the wine.

   This allows us to appreciate the colour and age of the wine at a distance. If we do not look at them, it is easy to confuse white wines with rosés and red ones, if the latter have little body.

   This is the key sense in wine tasting. First smell the wine without moving the glass, so as to appreciate the strength of the first fragances, those stemming from the kind of plant, fruit and flowers. Then hold the glass by the stem or foot and begin to swirl the wine around to release the hidden fragrances. This will first produce the second fragrances, those caused by the yeast, by the wine making processes or enzymotic fermentation, provided this has taken place using whole grapes and in airtight conditions. Leave the wine to rest, then swirl it again. If it has been kept in an oak barrel and then bottled, the bouquet will be appreciated. This is a whole range of perfumes (note that we no longer say “fragances”) which have ben achieved by the progressive modification of the polyphenols of the tanning family, among others, and by the aromas drawn out of the wood. All this is perceived through the nose, that is by inhaling. One´s first impressions are generally the most precise.

    The tongue captures only four different sensations: sweet, acid, salted and bitter, together with those of consistency and heat. A sip of wine becomes warmer as it passes though the mouth and is swallowed. The perfumes and fragrances automatically rise up to the nose, wich detects and classifies them through the back nasal passages. For this reason, taste is the combination of the pure sensations mentioned above together with those which unite taste and smell. And here the enthusiast should take care: it is not a good idea to pass judgement after first good impressions. Wait for about twelve seconds (after about six to eight one can generally appreciate certain bitter aftertastes and flavours if the wine in question is poor or low in quality). The persistence (measured in seconds) of pleasant taste sensations defines the class and excellent quality of a wine.

Touch and hearing:
   These two complement one´s perceptions. Taste –through the palate, the tongue and the inside of the nose- detects the consistency, viscosity, body and temperature of the wine, in short, its character. Hearing detects, through the lack of noise as it is poured into the glass, any weakness in the wine. It also distinguishes a soft wine from one which is not.

The memory:
   It is said that, “to drink, the physiological pleasure is sufficient. To taste, one needs intelligence and memory. “This is true, one nedds to have tried many wines and to remember perceptions in order to be able to apply objective criteria to that to be tasted.