Monday, November 29, 2010

Wine Me. Wine Me Not. (Tasting Wine)

Put this in mind before we start, tasting should never be frightening even for starters like me or you. I'll let you know why as we go through, in the mean time relax, enjoy this light reading, and just like chasing girls where one should never be intimidated by her beauty, as it is on wine, you should never be intimidated by its elegance. Appreciate it instead (now that's a hint for singles out there =p) and have fun with it (or her =p).

Alrighty, let's waste no time. Wine tasting is as straightforward as 123 as tried and tested in JCF Roundtable Session and another one-on-one session with Fredy.

One - Observe
Hold your glass and tilt it forward, but don't spill it. It wouldn't be cool if you spill it while having dinner with the beautiful girl. =p If it helps, put a white napkin underneath, and watch the color under the light. Not just see but also observe, compare and contrast the color. If its red, is it closer to purplish grape, red ruby =p, or maroon maybe? Also find hints such as sediments which will indicate the older wines.

Two - Smell
Take up your glass real close to your nose, don't hesitate, dip your nose in, and take a looooong deep sniff. Savor every inch and second of it. Now what you smell is what we call aroma or bouquet. These two terms usually used interchangeably, not for the advanced wine taster though. O well, forget them for a while, lets go back to sniffing. Now right behind our eyes, close to our nose, there lies this amazing sensory called olfactory bulb. It's actually part of the brain, and responsible for transmitting the scent we smell to brain. Here comes the tricky part, since it connects to our brain, it can only tells us the scents that we have smelled before and stored up in our scents-database.

This explains why if you youtubed videos of wine tastings, two people tasting the same wine can have a different hint of smell. One might say it has a hint of peach, the other says apricot just because its the closest fruit smell he can detect in his database. I remember, in one of the session, one of the participants said she smelled 'rubber' ! However, there's no right or wrong in tasting. This what makes wine experience is personal. You and I can have a sip of the same bottle and enjoy it differently. Its totally okay.

Three - Taste
Finally, after all that hustle, you get to drink it. Halleluya!  Take that sip you've been waiting for and let it wander around your mouth a while, let your taste buds savor it before swallowing it. Now swirl your glass of wine for a while, sniff it again, you'll reckon different smell as the wine meets oxygen and take out the subtle scents. And drink it again. When it come to taste, as listed by Sommelier Suyanto, there are several guidelines to describe the subtleties of wine: sweetness, acidity, tannin, body, flavors. However, that's a whole 'notha level. I don't think I have the capacity (yet) to share, but I will, if any of you kind readers be so kind to fund me for a wine study abroad. (notice I said 'kind' twice, yes, you deserve that).

Wow, its been three post already. I hope I don't bore you and help you shed some light on wine. Up on the next post is matching food and wine. Come back for some more if you share the same passion for wine. And feel free to share with your friends by clicking on the Tweet button below. =)

Until our next toast,
Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer
Snack on my tweets @captainruby
Email me at

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