An introduction to wine tasting

“Make sure your are not given it with cheese…”

In the old days, tavern owners would buy a whole years wine consumption from vineyards nearby. Sometimes, when the wine cellar owner was not entirely convinced of the quality of his own wine, he would offer the buyer a cured cheese tapa so the wine’s low standard would be overlooked.

Hence the saying “he was given it with cheese” So, if you don´t want it be given with cheese and want a real wine tasting experience, take a look at the essential steps on wine tasting.

Glass AromaThe three most common types of wine tasting are:

Blind wine tasting: when the brand and type is unknown, making it very impartial and objective.

Vertical wine tasting: tasting the same sort of wine and from the same wine cellar, but from different year productions, analysing the wine evolution over the years.

Horizontal wine tasting: tasting wines of the same year but from different wine cellars, to compare each wine’s uniqueness.

There may be other types of wine tastings which aim to understand the current market tendency and inclination or the expert wine tasting where professionals gather to analyse characteristics , defects or strengths.

Any wine tasting consists of three phases:

  • Visual: this is the moment to perceive if the wine is clear, clean or if it has floating particles. See the strength of colour and intensity, paying special attention to the outer ring, by tilting the glass against a white background. This simple step can provide a vast amount of information relating to the sort of grape used and if it has aged in barrel.
  • Olfactory: there are two types of wine smelling; smell the wine inside the glass, then swirl the wine glass and smell again the aroma or bouquet which comes out of it. To smell the flavour, the taste has to be retronasal (this is keeping a small sample of wine inside the mouth and then opening it slightly allowing for some air to oxygen the wine, intensifying its flavour.

Aromas can be described as fruity (cherry, berries, green apple), flowery (roses, lilac), flavours acquired inside the barrel (vanilla, coconut, coffee), spices (pepper, clove) and  bottle flavours (leather, truffle).

  • Taste: the phase where basic flavour like sweet, sour and acid come to life and reflect on the wines softness, smoothness and roundness, analysing if the flavour is sharp or if it remains in the mouth for a long period.

The ideal wine temperature for sparkling wine, cava and white wine is between 4° and 9°C, whilst rose wines are served at 10°C and reds at 17°C. Young red wines tend to be served at lower temperatures between 11° and 14°C, whilst older and grand reserve wines could be served even at 20°C to appreciate all its features.

“We ultimately recommend to enjoy wine with friends and not over analyse it.”

Cheese and wine pairing