I know many of you reading this post will be adept in the practice of tasting wine, and the last thing I want to do is teach you to suck eggs…. But, I also know that there will be some of you that have been at “that” party where all the guests behave like wine aficionados, sniffing, sipping and swirling like crazy; and you feel like the odd one out.
If you want to hold your own in the wine tasting corner at the next party you’re invited to, follow the five simple steps below:
- SEE: Observe the wine’s colour. The best way to do this is to hold your glass up to the light and tilt it. You could also hold your glass against a white background, a table napkin, for example. Now we’re talking about white wine here, specifically Sauvignon Blanc, so the colours you might be likely to see are pale with green hues, pale straw with green hues, pale straw, straw yellow, yellow straw, yellow, yellow gold. The hue will get darker the older the wine is. The other thing to observe in your first step is the wine’s viscocity (how slowly it runs back down the side of the glass). If it clings to the glass when you tilt it back, it is often referred to as having ‘legs’ and this usually means that the wine contains a higher level of sugar or alcohol.
- SWIRL: This allows some oxygen into the wine, which will help its aromas open up and release its bouquet. There is no right or wrong way to swirl a wine glass, that said you might want to gently swirl on a flat surface, to avoid sloshing wine over yourself!
- SMELL: One of the most important steps in the process! Take a quick sniff for an initial impression. Then really get your nose in there, smell deeply and slowly. Sauvignon Blanc is considered an aromatic grape and its presence in wines is easily recognisable. With our Fairbourne Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013, you’ll find a predominance of fresh ripe citrus and nectarine. With other Sauvignon Blanc wines you may come across aromas such as cut grass, herbs, passionfruit. The aromas are dependent on the climate of where the grapes were grown and the ripeness of the fruit at time of harvest.
- SIP: Take a sip of wine, and let it roll around your tongue allowing the wine to reach all of your taste buds. Consider the following.
Sweetness: This is tasted on the tip of the tongue.
Fruit and Varietal Characteristics: These are tasted in the middle of the tongue.
Acidity: This is tasted at the sides of the tongue and on the insides of the cheeks.
- SAVOUR: Swallow the wine and evaluate its finish. A quality wine should leave you with a pleasing aftertaste lasting from 15 to 20 seconds after you’ve swallowed it.
Now are you ready to try it? Why not throw a wine-tasting party with a “Vertical Tasting Case”, you’ll receive one bottle of each vintage – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Delivered free throughout New Zealand.
Visit each vintage’s individual page on this website to download the tasting notes for your guests.