Tasting the Wines
No special science
is required to appreciate a good thing. Tasting French wines is
always an enjoyable experiment. but a little knowledge helps one
to get the most out of it.
The first step is to look at the wine in the glass. See how bright it looks; compare
the different shades of the reds which go from a brilliant ruby
to a purple hue; the whites which go from a very pale yellow
(sometimes even a greenish yellow) to a rich, deep gold; the
rosés which may vary from a subdued pink to a lively, nearly red
The colour is part
of the typical characteristics of the wines of each place name.
A Chablis, for example, is of a very pale, greenish-yellow and
cannot be mistaken, even at first sight, with a deeply golden
The next step is to swirl the wine in the glass. This is not done just to "show off"
as an expert, but in order for the wine to "breathe”, and in
contact with the air to develop its wonderful bouquet. It is for
this reason that very little wine is poured into a large glass,
so that there is plenty of room for the “perfume" of the wine to
expand and develop in the glass.
Now that the
swirling has brought out the bouquet of the wine, sniff it.
Smelling the wine in the glass is one of the greatest pleasures
of wine tasting because the bouquet of the wine gives a
foretaste of the wine itself.
Next, sip the wine.
Don't swallow it yet. It is with our mouth that we taste and,
therefore, swallowing the wine immediately cuts short all the
sensations which may be derived from the tasting.
Let the wine
roll in your mouth; send it to the back of the tongue where the tastebuds are (the tip of the tongue is not sensitive to taste
but only to temperature).
An expert wine
taster knows everything there is to know about the wine after he
has looked at it. smelled it and tasted it. He does not have to
swallow it because swallowing adds only to his enjoyment of the
wine but not to his knowledge of it.
swallowed the wine. there are still two phases in the art of
The first one is to concentrate on the aroma which lingers in the mouth because a
good wine leaves a lasting fragrance after being swallowed. and
the greater the wine the longer this fragrance lasts. So, don’t
shorten your pleasure by rushing to a new wine right after
having drunk the previous one.
The last phase and
one of the most enjoyable is to talk about the wines which have
Exchange of opinions
helps a great deal toward fixing impressions in one's own mind
and, very often, a taster will draw attention to some
peculiarity of the wine (either a quality or a fault) that the
others had not noticed and which becomes obvious to everyone the
minute attention has been drawn to it.
There is never a
dull moment at a French wine tasting party.