It’s a matter of
taste The elements of tasting wine and hosting a tasting party By Jeffrey Cushing, The Village Cellar
wirl, sniff, sip and swallow are the basics of tasting wine. People love to taste new wines and what better way to have fun than by attending a tasting event. There are a lot of events at different places in Lake Wylie and surrounding areas, but if you want to get adventurous, try a party at home with some friends and neighbors. Let’s cover the fundamentals of tasting wine to help you on your way. Open your bottle and pour a few ounces into your glass. Not too much, you need room to swirl and sniff. If your wine has real cork, pick up the cork and sniff it. It should smell like wine. If it smells like a rotten egg or moldy and damp, that is not a good sign and the wine could be oxidized or “corked.” A corked bottle means that a bacteria called 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) has infected it and the flavor is off. Even an avid wine drinker may not notice the effect of TCA on the wine and just believe it to be a poorly made wine, when really it just may be that particular bottle due to the faulty cork. Whether your bottle had a real cork, a synthetic cork or a screw cap, don’t pre-judge the wine based on the closure. There is a lot of research that shows a screw cap will keep a wine fresher longer than a cork. This is especially good for a bottle of white wine. Similarly, there are many wine glass shapes. If you want to partake in the full pleasures of drinking wine the shape of your glass may affect your experience. A champagne flute is tall and narrow, ideal to watch the bubbles float up from the bottom of the glass. A round, bowl-shaped glass is nice for delicate wines that need a lot more space to aerate it and have their aromas open up. Most wines can be served in a standard tulip shaped glass. The opening at the top has a smaller circumference than the bowl. This allows the aromas to concentrate to provide a better, stronger concentration of its bouquet. Once you pour a few ounces of wine into your glass, give it a swirl; what do you see? A fuller bodied wine will cling to the side of the glass, and then run back down leaving “legs” on the sides. The fuller the wine, the better the legs. This will give you the first indication of quality. Next, look at the color of the wine. The type of wine and its color will show
www.LakeWylieToday.com | Fall 2012
Lifestyle magazine covering the Lake Wylie community.