Preparing For Wine Tasting - A Beginners Guide
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
When tasting wine, the goal is to develop an appreciation for the wine and its components rather than simply drinking it. Preparing your first wine tasting, whether it's a day tour at Hunter Valley or arranging your own at home, is exciting. It's great for determining your favourite wine and training your palate to distinguish between different ones.
Choosing Your Wine
Buying the right wines is the first step. Most people make this mistake by spending too much or too little. Inexpensive wines are fruity and straightforward, lacking varietal value and more complex concepts, like structure and balance. On the opposite end of the spectrum, expensive wines are just as poor a choice because these are loaded with flavour, oak and texture. The complexity of the wines will hinder learning the basics. Choose middle-of-the-range priced wines and remember to buy according to grape variety (single variety and blends) as well as colour (white, reds and rose).
Organise Your Taste Flights
Taste several wines, one after another. This way, comparisons can be made and more objective assessments are reached instead of doing individual tastings. Organising your tasting into flights will ensure a proper wine tasting. An example of such a setup will include pairing wines with complimentary flavours together, starting with the light white wines and moving into full-bodied reds.
Red and older wines are decanted to introduce air to enhance their taste and to remove sediment from old wine bottles. Glass decanters with a wide mouth are suitable. Crystals with elaborate flutes do not enhance the process.
Similarly, these do not have to be crystal, elaborate and expensive. Wine-tasting glasses are suitable if they have a tapered bowl and a long stem to prevent the transfer of body heat. You should be able to fit your nose at the rim of the glass as it curves inward. Use the same type of glassware during all wine tastings so that everyone has the same experience.
Handling Your Wine
Everything from serving it at the right temperature to popping the cork correctly and pouring it affects the taste of the wine. Red wines should be slightly cooler than room temperature and white wines are best served cold, around 7 - 12 degrees Celcius.
Wine Tasting With Hunter Valley Winery Tours
Of course, you can learn about wine tasting and its intricacies by going on a day tour. Learn all about the different wines and the etiquette that goes with tasting and serving them. If you are a novice, what better way could there be than to visit boutique wineries and local produce outlets under the expert guidance of a friendly and experienced guide?