How to Taste Wine
There are a specific set of criteria by which most of us judge a bottle of wine. Here is a quick factoid sheet for your drinking pleasure and edification!
- How much sugar is in this baby? Based on the fact that wine is made from grapes, there is a natural fruity component to the beverage. This is an entirely different beast from sweetness.
Therefore a wine can possess a ton of fruit and still be considered dry.
1.Bitter 2.Sour 3.Salt 4.Sweet
- Residual sugar content is picked up by the tip of the tongue. If you feel it elsewhere on your palate, the wine is fruity but not sweet.
- If it is table (eg not dessert or fortified wine) it is not stricly speaking, sweet. Even at it's fruitiest most wines that you are drinking with dinner are at best off-dry.
- Acidity is what makes your mouth water (check under your tongue) and psyched for food.
- Most wines that are high in acidity are naturally food friendly, for the reason mentioned above. Contrary to most modern wine marketing, not all wine is good with food.
- Old world wines tend to be higher in acidity than new world wines.
- Tannin is the astringency or bitterness that dries out your cheeks and gums.
- Tannin comes from either grape skins or oak used in the aging process. Therefore it is more often found in red wines than in white.
- Tannins are often characterized by the way that they feel on the palate. Let your mad-libs addled brain run wild when you explore textures: velvetty, soft, smooth, silky, course, astringent, etc. etc
Milk: not a bad choice here!
- Weight or body:
- The most apt (and often used) analogy is that of milk:
- Light weight wines feel like skim milk on the palate;
- Medium bodied wines feel like 2% milk;
- Full bodied wines feel like full milk or cream;
So why does anyone bother with this nonsense? If we did not there would be no way to differentiate the creme de la creme from the dregs. We do this pretentious nonsense for you, the consumer. So please, next time you see one, kiss a sommelier!