Wine Tasting For The Newbies


by Melba Hardy


Tampa wine tasting events occur three to four times in a month. There are many places it is held, but are commonly held in wine classes, wine cellars, restaurants, wine shops, and country clubs. The main goal for these events is evaluating the different products to the sommeliers, buyers, and enthusiasts alike.

It is not difficult as one would imagine and it does not take a large amount of time. Newbies should know some ways in judging. Your eyes, nose, and mouth will play an important factor in judging.

Wine tasting has four stages namely in glass, appearance, finish, and in mouth. The main objective of these stages is to find possible faults, the potentiality for drinking or aging, the complexity, and the character. Bring a pen and a writing material of your choosing to write down notes. Some events have pen and paper for the testers, but it is better to bring one for yourself in the circumstance that they might not provide them.

The appearance stage is where the tasters evaluate the clarity and color. Be sure to get a glass and pour some on it. Tilt it away from the eyes and start looking at the edges and then to the middle part. It is advisable to look at it with white on the back to really see the color. White table cloths, napkins, or paper will do if there is no other means.

The color of red wines are normally maroon, brownish, garnet, red, ruby, or purple. The color of white wines are normally clear, pale yellow, amber, brown, golden, or light green. Orange tinges are frequently spotted on the edges of old red wines compared to the new brands. Also, the difference between old white wines and new brands is that old ones have a darker tone if closely paired to new ones.

Something also to be noticed is the opacity. Try looking if it is dark or watery, dull or brilliant, opaque or translucent, and clear or cloudy. Swirl your glass for a short time. Take note if there are any bits of cork, sediments, or other floaters.

In glass stage is where the testers use their noses. To get the aroma, swirl the glass for ten to twelve seconds. It causes the vaporization of the alcohol which leaves only the natural aroma. Take a whiff for that first impression. Sniff it again but put your nose near the glass. You will notice different scents. To mix those scent, swirl it once again.

The in mouth stage is where the taste buds will take into action. Sipping it first but not swallowing is to be done first. Let the tongue feel the taste for a moment and then spit it on a nearby spit jar for an initial taste impression. Tannin levels, acidity, alcohol content, and residual sugar should be kept in mind while analyzing. If, however, the drink is swallowed, judgment with other wines will be affected. Slurping the drink is the second phase of tasting. The focus now is on the flavor of the fruit or, in some wines, spice. It is the same with the initial impression, the drink should stay in the mouth for a moment, but this time, swallow it.

The finish stage is the feeling left after swallowing. The time of the flavor to remain in the throat and mouth should be considered. This stage is optional if you like to taste other wines. Drink water first before the event because lack of water causes a quick way to get drunk. Remember to judge them objectively. A Tampa wine tasting event is just waiting for someone who knows his taste.




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