Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Butler's guide to wine tasting, taste.

The Butlers got taste
Part one

When drinking wine, some have a taste that disapears in seconds, others stay with you for a lifetime.
Pinot Grigios tend to be over too quickly and for me, tend to fall into the first category.
Chateau Musar is a delight and falls into the second, being both destinct and memorable.

To make things easy, we are going to break the taste into three stages: initial, middle and after.

The initial flavour, normally embodies some, if not all of the elements that came out in the smell.
With Chenin Blanc, the smell and taste both included pear.
Sauvignons have citrus notes, Cabernet has Casis and so it carries on.

As taste is very personal, you just need to have the confidence to say what you can taste. You also have to be precise and not generalise.

 I once rebuked one of my friends for saying "lemon", during a wine tasting. I said " Lemon.... is it squeezed lemon, ripe lemon, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon drops, bottled lemon juice, lemsip lemon, lemon pulp, lemon lozenges, lemon drizzle, lemon cheesecake, lemonade, lemon peel, lemon pulp, under ripe lemon, freshly sqeezed lemon, lemon tea, lemon chicken, lemon thyme,lemon airfreshener, lemon dishwasher tablets, lemon icing, lemon fizz. The list went on, luckily he is still my friend, but I think my point was made.

The initial flavour is when you decide if you like the wine or not. It is important to take your time and throw as many descriptive words at your taste notes.

You are looking to draw out as much flavour as possible, this is why professional tasters make those dreadful sucking noises, when trying wine. They are drawing in wine and air over their tongue.
This opens the wine and releases more flavours, which are picked up as they cross the taste buds.
It is a tricky skill to master and can go so horribly wrong.

The trick is to take little sips and breath in, in a slow steady manner. The wine will naturally be drawn across your tongue. You could try it out with water first and wine later, but it is a useful skill to have.

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