A Beginners Guide to Wine Tasting.


Have you always wanted to be an expert wine taster but you just don’t know where to start? As usual, the best place to start is at the beginning. Down the road, you can be the wine aficionado you’ve always thought you should be. For now, you just need to learn beginner’s information about wine tasting. You have to start somewhere, right?

Why Taste Wine?

The main goal behind tasting wine is to identify the wine’s overall flavour as well as specific components of scent. You should also know the general characteristics for each type of grape so that you can pinpoint what type of wine you’re sipping. Lastly, it’s hugely beneficial to be able to point out flaws in a wine.

The Nose Knows

A large part of wine tasting is your nose, believe it or not. In order to truly get the intended taste of wine, you have to sniff it. Your nose is directly connected to your palate and you can’t accurately taste wine without using your sense of smell.

Learning the Different Types of Wine

You don’t have to learn the ins and outs of every type of wine from the get-go. As you continue to expand your wine education, learn about new types of wine. Choose one type, learn everything you can about it and then move on to the next.

Wine Regions

Part of learning about the different types of wine is learning where the grapes come from. Wine is made in practically every country in the world, divided into “Old World” countries and “New World” countries. The names are exactly what they sound like – “Old World” countries have been making wine for a long, long time, while “New World” countries are fairly new to wine production.

One of the reasons why wine tastes differently depending on the region it hails from is because of the soil and climate. This is also a great way to determine where a wine you taste comes from – even before you read the label. Knowing the major wine regions and the grapes that come from them are a start. Here are three examples to get you on your way:

1. France produces eight main types of wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
2. Italy is most famous wine-wise for producing Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Moscato, Barbera and Nebbiolo.
3. The main wines that come from the United States are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlo, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir.

Wine Labels

The good news for people who want to learn everything there is to know about wine is that the label will tell you quite a bit of information. While wine labels will be confusing to the untrained, if you know what you’re reading, they can be extremely informative. New World labels are a bit easier to read because they usually have the grapes listed. Old World wines require a more trained palate because the winemakers assume that the wine tasters know what they’re doing.

Most wine labels include the varietal of grape used, the region where the wine is produced, the company that produced the wine, the percentage of alcohol and the vintage. Some wine labels also include information about the vineyard, estate, reserve, history, quality level and even tasting notes. A great way to teach yourself about wine is to begin by tasting wines that pack a lot of information on the label, specifically about tasting notes.

Wine Gone Bad

Cheap wine does not necessarily equal bad wine and bad wine isn’t always cheap. Flaws can come into effect during the winemaking process, even if it’s a highly sought-after type of grape. Bad corks and poor conditions for storage can also lead to a bad batch of wine. It’s good to know if you have a bad bottle or glass of wine because you shouldn’t have to pay for second-rate wine. For example, if you order an expensive bottle of wine in a restaurant and it doesn’t taste as it should, you can absolutely send it back.

Shopping for Wine

Today, shopping for wine has never been easier. If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, simply wander into your nearest wine shop. Most of the time, these shops are staffed with people who are knowledgeable about wine and they’re often willing to find you exactly what you’re looking for.

If you know what type of wine you want but can’t find it at a store, you can order pretty much any bottle of wine online and have it shipped right to your doorstep. However, make sure that you’re following state law. Some states don’t allow wine to be shipped.

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One Comment

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