Wine Tasting at Burntshirt Vineyards
Wine tasting can be broken down into five basic steps: see, swirl, sniff, sip and savor.
- Pour the wine into the glass and hold it against a white background such as a napkin. Color tells you a lot about the wine.
- For whites, if the color is darker, it may mean the wine was aged in oak barrels as is the case with our Harvest Moon Chardonnay. If it is pale yellow green, like our Grüner Veltliner, unoaked Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, and Riesling, it was fermented in stainless steel tanks.
- For reds, if it is rich in color like our Altitude 3400, it can indicate a younger wine. Red wines tend to lose color as they age.
- Different grape varieties have different colors. Color is a perceptive issue so don’t worry if you don’t see eye to eye with someone else.
- You swirl the wine in your glass to increase the oxygen through the wine and to release its bouquet and aromas.
- Bouquet is the total smell of the wine. Aroma is the smell of the grapes.
- The “nose” of the wine is a word wine tasters use to describe the bouquet and aroma of the wine.
- Smell is one of the most important steps in the process of wine tasting. We humans can identify more than 2000 scents and wine has hundreds of its own!
- After you swirl the wine, you should smell it three times. The third smell will give you more information than the first two.
- You don’t have to use pretentious words to describe the nose of a wine. It is what you perceive. Our wine descriptions will give you a start. If you sense something different, let us know your interpretation.
- After time, you can memorize the way a Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grape smells.
- For many, tasting wine is taking a sip and swallowing immediately. Proper tasting is done with your taste buds. When tasting wine, take a sip and leave it in your mouth for 3-5 seconds. This brings the wine to the temperature of your body and creates more smells sending info to your olfactory sense.
- We perceive four tastes: salty, sweet, bitter and sour. Wine is not salty so we’re down to three.
- Sweetness occurs when wine has some residual sugar added after fermentation. If there’s any sweetness in wine, you’ll get it right away because we sense sweet at the tip of the tongue.
- Bitterness usually indicates a high alcohol and tannin content. It’s tasted at the back of the tongue. Tannins are a sensation that frequently exist in red wines and white wines aged in oak. When the wines are too young, the tannins are high and block the fruit.
- Sourness indicates the amount of acidity in the wine. Acidity is sensed at the sides of the tongue, the cheek area and the back of the throat. White wines and some lighter red wines contain a higher degree of acidity than robust red wines.
- Fruit and varietal characteristics of the grapes will be more smells, than tastes. Pay attention as the overall taste and balance of the components linger in your mouth. How long does the balance last? This is called the aftertaste and is usually the sign of a high-quality wine.