1. 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 colour. Wine Tasting with friends is enjoyable and educational, especially if there is a good choice of French Wine
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 Sauternes.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. After having swallowed the wine. there are still two phases in the art of wine tasting.
6. 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.
7. The last phase and one of the most enjoyable is to talk about the wines which have been tasted.
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.
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