Wine tasting is the process that allows anyone to taste a wine from a more complex and professional analysis perspective. In this analytical process, as many senses as possible are used in order to obtain maximum information about the wine in question. Normally, sight, smell and taste are used, although there are those who also find touch or hearing useful.
Knowing a wine deeply allows us to better appreciate its qualities and educate our senses enjoying more the pleasure of tasting a good wine. Many people who do not have their sense of taste or smell well developed will say that wine tastes like “wine” when in fact there is a huge variety of possible nuances that depending on the development and sensory education that each person can appreciate to a greater or lesser extent. Discovering your senses can undoubtedly make you enjoy more small pleasures in life, such as contemplating a work of art, a walk on the beach or tasting a glass of wine anywhere knowing how to appreciate its qualities.
A high quality wine is the fruit of an authentic process in which many professionals have intervened and a lot of time and effort has been used to achieve a high quality final product worthy of being appreciated and recognized in this process called “Wine Tasting” . From our obsession to promote the culture of high quality wine and enhance the discovery of the senses of all consumers we would like to briefly explain the process of a wine tasting.
The wine tasting is divided into three main phases related to the fundamental senses used in the analysis of a wine: sight, smell and taste.
The sense of sight gives us visual information about the general and specific aspect of a wine. So we can first appreciate its color (red, white, pink, etc.) and its different shades and shades (cherry, ruby, tile, etc.), which will give us a lot of information about the type of wine we are tasting . Thus, for example, a red wine will have more aging when its shades become more brown and dark colors, while its youth is linked to bright and bright colors.
The intensity of the wine and its alcoholic strength is also easily appreciated through the sense of sight when, when the wine glass is slightly removed, the tears fall down the walls of the glass. It is known that the thicker that tear is the greater the intensity and alcoholic strength of the wine.
Other aspects that cannot be overlooked in the visual phase are to observe if the wine has grounds or any other identifying element. Sparkling wines, for example, it is very important to analyze how their bubbles are.
The second phase is the olfactory one and this is perhaps the most complex, since there are thousands of odors that are not so easy for the human being to appreciate for their poor development of this sense. Other mammals such as canines have much more developed, they have about 300 million olfactory cells while the human being does not reach 5 million. However, it is not convenient to fall apart, since it is estimated that we can distinguish more than a billion different odors according to various neuroscientific studies. It is a matter of training.
In a wine we can distinguish three types of aromas: primary, secondary and tertiary. The first are those derived from the vine itself, mainly floral and fruit aromas, that is, the aromas that come standard. The secondary ones are those formed in the fermentation of the wine, those fruit of the action of the yeasts responsible for transforming the sugars of the must into alcohol. And the tertiary aromas those formed in the aging of the wine, aromas of vanilla, cocoa, balsamic notes of the wood to which the wine is subjected for several months.
To develop this phase of the wine tasting successfully, first of all we smell the glass without stirring in order to appreciate the primary aromas. It is very important to focus exclusively on the sense of smell and ignore others such as sight or hearing. Depending on the type of wine we will easily appreciate typical aromas of red or black fruits such as redcurrants, blackberries, cherries … floral notes of jasmine, orange blossom, honeysuckle … etc. They are very easy to recognize aromas if you train your nose a little. Secondly, we slightly remove the glass to mix all the aromas well and smell the wine again. At this point the secondary and tertiary aromas must be recognized, that is, those that come from the fermentation and aging of the wine. It is perhaps a more complex part for smell but with practice it will not be very difficult to recognize spicy aromas (clove, black pepper, anise …), aromas of wood (coffee, vanilla, cocoa, oak, etc.).
In this part you have to try to take a small sip of wine and keep it in the mouth to analyze its qualities. Through our taste buds we can appreciate five types of flavors (Acid, sweet, bitter, salty and umami). A wine can have more or less acidity, it can be sweet, even something salty … The first purpose is to find out if one flavor stands out more than another or if instead it is a balanced wine.
Subsequently, we analyze the flavors and nuances that we recognize. Here previously, olfaction has played a very important role through aromas will make it possible for the wine to taste red fruits, floral notes, etc. This is because the sense of smell and taste are closely related thanks to the oropharyngeal mucosa. The taste buds present here identify the aromas and flavors and send a signal to the brain to recognize them.
Finally, we must consider the general tactile sensations that wine produces in our mouths (if it is a wine with a lot of volume or is light, if it produces astringency, etc.). It is said that a wine has a lot of body if the sensation is of dryness and great intensity of the liquid. While on the contrary, a wine would be light or easy to drink. Astringency is the tactile sensation in the mouth and one would say that a wine is astringent if there is no softness, in red wines, aging is common due to the action of tannins. In many wines you can highlight a special softness (little astringency), which would be called “velvety wine” being a very positive quality. Other factors such as temperature or carbonic (in sparkling wines) are also important but they depend a lot on the type of wine being analyzed.