Have you ever experienced going to an event where wines are served and you’re not really sure how to look like you’re confident with holding the wine glass? And even if you finally become confident with how you hold the wine glass, you are then faced with the challenge of drinking like a pro? Why do people swirl the glass and sniff the wine? What difference does it make? Is that a requirement or something?
It was a wonderful experience to be part of Wine Talk’s wine tasting evening exclusively for bloggers. （Wine Talk is an online wine delivery service where customers can easily order wines via www.winetalk.com.my).
Wine Talk’s French sommelier, David Stephan, started the evening by serving the two white wine then followed by a rose wine and another two red wines.
DAVID’s TOP 8 TIPS to appreciate and taste wine like a PRO:
- Hold the wine glass by the stem, not by its bowl. In my years of serving wines, I’ve probably seen hundreds of people holding a wine glass by the bowl. It’s not that bad but doing this exposes the wine to your fingers’ temperature. Best is to hold a wine glass by its stem. It reduces exposure of wine to heat and it also makes you look like a pro. Classy and elegant.
- Swirl the wine in your glass, be careful not to spill. Swirling allows the wine to release aromas. Just give your glass a gentle swirl. After you’ve done this a few times, you’ll get the hang of wine glass swirling.
- Sniff the wine. It’s totally fine to put your nose inside the glass. Learning to appreciate wine aromas is learning how to appreciate the character of the wine. Don’t panic if your friend smells something else than what you smell. Wine aromas can be completely subjective. Your friend might smell flowers while you smell fruits. It’s fine. The important thing is whether you like the aromas or not.
- Look at the color of the wine. You can hold your glass higher to get some light. The color of the wine can tell you a lot of things about what you’re drinking or tasting. Some white wines might be lighter than others; it will roughly give you an idea about the taste. Some red wines are very dark while types like pinot noir might have lighter red color than merlot and shiraz.
- Sip the wine. Take note: SIP not gulp. Sipping gives you more chance to appreciate the taste. If you are willing to expand your tasting skills, you can explore inhaling air through your mouth while the wine is inside. This can be tricky but perfecting this skill can give you significant difference in appreciating wines.
- Take note of the aftertaste. This is where you’ll notice if a wine has strong or light tannins. Tannins are most commonly present in red wine. It is the textural element that makes wine taste dry. Observe your tongue when you taste red wines, it’s that ‘dry’ feeling or taste when you swallow wine. Some grapes have higher tannins while some have lower.
- Swirl, sniff then sip again. This will allow you to rediscover the aromas and the taste for another time.
- Be familiar with basic wine terms. Looking and sounding like a pro need a bit of research. Some people might talk to you about nose, legs, fermentation, vintage, corked wine, acidity and other terms. Take a few minutes to read about some wine terms before you attend a gathering where wine will be served. If you’re armed with some wine knowledge, you’ll relate to what people are talking about and maybe even add some comments that make you look and sound like a pro!
We had a total of 5 different wines from different regions and countries.
|Albondigas "Saint Climent" RM20 (small), RM30 (large); Cheese Platter RM25 (1 pax), RM25 (2 pax)|
Château Fontarèche Corbières ‘Tradition’ Rosé, Languedoc, France: Classic Southern France Rose, made mostly from a very old varietal, the Picquepoul Noir. Light grenadine pink in colour, expressive, vibrantly fresh rose with notes of wild straberries and fruit drops. On the palate, fine balance between the fruitiness, fatness and acidity.
Pago De Cirsus ‘Vendimia Seleccionada' Navarra, Spain: It showcases an abundance of red fruits like plum aromas and ripe black berries, typical of Tempranillo, blended with scents of cocoa. The wood is fully integrated. The wine is fruity and long, with rich but smooth tannins.
|Pulpo a la Gallega RM75|
Tucumen Sauvignon Blanc, Mendoza, Argentina: Soft and mellow wine with delicate floral and citrus notes; it offers a fresh and balanced acidity, with great subtle aromas of peach and lemon. This aromatic Sauvignon Blanc is excellent as an aperitif and a very good companion for seafood, fish, pastas, poultry and a goat cheese. A very crisp and delicate Sauvignon Blanc, to enjoy at anytime.
|Arroz Negro con Calamares y Allioli RM35 (1 pax), RM68 (2 pax)|
Lion’s Lair Shiraz, Swartland, South Africa :The cuvee is aged in stainless steel to keep the authenticity of the opulent, bright fruit. A beautifully elegant palate with round tannins, layered with clove spice, ripe cherries and violets. A very friendly and approachable Shiraz - great for any occasion.
|Gambas al Ajillo RM38|
Monte da Peceguina Branco, Alentejo, Portugal: The Branco (white) cuvee is a classic blend of local varieties; it showcases a very aromatic expression of the grapes, with citrus and floral notes, combines with a great minerality and intense flavours, balanced by a great acidity. The ultimate 'geeky' wine, a great discovery, better enjoy with food & friends.
If you really want to learn more about wines, it is best to keep trying more. Wine Talk has a special service where wine lovers or enthusiasts can discover more wines that will be personally handpicked by David. A person just needs to join the Wine Club, which is FREE from sign-up or membership fee, and receive 6 or 12 bottles of wines every month or 2. It’s a convenient way to enjoy wines. You don’t need to worry about what wines to buy because David, the sommelier, will choose them for you based on your preference. Isn’t this amazing? And another great thing from Wine Talk is their GUARANTEED PRICE and GUARANTEED SATISFACTION. If you’re not happy with the wine you received, they will change it for you. Cool!
Good news for my readers! Love wine? Need to send wine as a gift or need wines for an event, gathering or party? Use my special voucher code when you shop at Wine Talk to enjoy RM50 OFF on your order of RM300 worth of normal-priced wines! Simply key-in SUNBLOG50 upon checkout! Meanwhile, you can use this voucher code BLOGEVENT15 – to enjoy 15% off on your order of RM180 on normal-priced exclusive wines.
For further information, please log on to www.winetalk.com.my or call 1300-88-9788.