Wine Tasting
 
Reading will certainly help you gain an academic knowledge, but tasting is a much more enjoyable and practical way to learn and enhance your understanding! Naturally, for a well-rounded education, a little of each is most beneficial.
 
There are five steps to master the wine-tasting experience, namely Colour, Swirl, Smell, Taste and Savour.
This month, we'll take a closer look at Colour and Swirl...
 
Colour
The best way to get an idea of a wine's colour is to hold the glass against a white background, such as a napkin or a linen tablecloth. The range of colours that you may see naturally depends on whether you taste a white or a red wine. Here is a list of the common colour classifications for both types of wine, beginning with young wines and moving to older wines:
 
Pale yellow-green
Straw yellow
Yellow-gold
Gold
Old gold
Yellow-brown
                      
Purple
Ruby
Red
Brick red
Red-brown

Color tells you a lot about the wine. Take white wine as an example, I'll tell you three reasons why a white wine may have more color:
1. It's older.
2. Different grape varieties give different color (e.g. Chardonnay usually gives off a deeper color than Sauvignon Blanc does).
3. The wine was oak aged.

Swirl  
Why do we swirl wine? Swirling allows oxygen to get into the wine. It also releases the esters, ethers and aldehydes that combine with oxygen to yield the bouquet. In other words, swirling aerates the wine and gives you a better opportunity to assess its aroma.
You can swirl any way you want, with your left hand, your right hand, with two fingers, behind your back and so on! Some wine experts say that if you put your hand over the glass while you swirl, you will get an even better bouquet and aroma. However, swirling is not easy to learn, so your homework this month is to start swirling every day. Develop your swirl by swirling everything: water, coffee, milk, orange juice, even Coke!

 

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