When Emily Cappiello went on a wine appreciation class, she never realized she would end up loving it so much that she signed up for the next series of classes!
She learned a great deal, too, from the professional sommelier who took the class, and here are some of the coolest things she learned about wine tasting and drinking:
The Five ‘S’s’ Tasting Method
You shouldn’t just yank the cork out and start guzzling your wine – there are five steps to getting the most out of your wine tasting.
• See: You should check the colour of your wine by holding your glass up against a backdrop at a 45-degree angle.
• Swirl: You may look pretentious while doing this, but it really is to release the aromas.
• Smell: This is where things can get complicated. If you’re serious about wine tasting, Cappiello recommends buying an ‘aroma wheel’, which is a bit like a color wheel, but for aromas rather than colors! Cappiello says that an aroma wheel can help you realize where your smell and taste senses are strong and where they are lacking.
• Sip: After smelling, the fun part is tasting! It’s good to see which of the aromas you smelled are actually in the wine. Sometimes a wine may surprise you and taste nothing like it smelled.
• Spit or Swallow: There’s no reason to spit out perfectly good wine, that’s just a myth. The only reason you’d spit was if the wine had gone bad, but if you’ve done your homework, you’ll know if it’s spoiled long before you taste it.
It’s OK to Swirl Your Bubbles
Contrary to popular belief, you should follow the 5 ‘S’ tasting method for prosecco, cava and champagne. If you are gentle with your swirling, you’ll release the aromas of the bubbly that you are drinking.
For any type of wine, you should swirl your first sip like mouthwash! A good swishing action in your mouth gets the palate ready to absorb all the flavors in the wine. You’ll find on your second sip that you’ll be a bit more gentle and discerning about what you taste.
Wines From Different Areas Taste Different
Yes, Old World and New World wines have certain differences in taste. Old World wines are from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Germany, and New World ones are from the US, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina and New Zealand.
Old World wines are described as tasting less fruity, being lighter, having less alcohol content but higher acidity. New World wines are often described as being riper tasting, fruity, with higher alcohol but less acidity. They often have a slight pepper flavor, giving a slight kick at the end.