How To Pretend To Be A Wine Snob in 4 Easy Steps
Learn the 4 ‘S’s of wine tasting and pass off as a wine connoisseur. You may thank us later!
Standing in a room being surrounded by wine snobs can be intimidating. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Before you start tasting like a pro you have to look the part.
Here’s a simple 4-step process that’ll get you there.
Looking at a wine can tell you a lot about it. For starters, it’ll hint at the age of a wine.
Typically white wines gain colour as they age – moving from a watery yellow to slightly golden hues. Red wines on the other hand lose some of their colour and vibrancy as they age. A young red wine will be deep violet, but the longer it stays in the bottle it changes to ruby or brick-red.
The colour of a wine can also give an inkling of the grape used and whether the wine was aged in oak or not. But all said and done, remember that as with women, it best not to comment on age simply based on the appearance!
Oxygen and wine share a love-hate relationship. If air enters the bottle it can ruin a wine but once out of the bottle a wine needs to breathe to show the full extent of it’s personality.
The trick to swirling like a pro – it’s all in the wrist. Keep your elbow stationary and make circles in the air. Practice makes perfect!
Until then, an easier way is to place it on a table and make circles keeping the stem of the glass between your index and middle finger.
The more you swirl the stronger the aromas get. But leave it in the open for too long and some aromas & flavours will be lost. The best way to ensure that an open bottle doesn’t go bad is to finish it!
People often ask what makes one wine different from another.
Think of it this way – when it comes to mangoes, you can probably tell an alphonso from a langda, even if you were blindfolded. Each has a unique taste that you’ve come to recognise with time. It’s the same with grapes.
Different varieties yield wines with different flavours. The trick to recognising each is to try them again and again.
When you take your first few sips of a wine don’t swallow immediately. Hold it in your mouth and roll it over your palate for about 10 seconds and breathe in.
The questions to consider when sipping a wine:
– Does it taste the way it smelt?
– Is the after-taste pleasant and long lasting?
– Does it make you want to have another sip, and another, and another?
If the answer to most of the questions is ‘Yes’, then in all likelihood you’ve picked a good wine.
So those were the 4Ss of tasting like a pro. You’ll get better with time, so keep at it. How’s that for homework!
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