How to examine wine with sight

Wed, 06/22/2011 - 07:07 -- The-Wine-Man

Wine tasting really starts with the visual examination.  The way the wine catches the eye is the first indication of its style and of its age, analysed through the colour, the tint, the limpidity, the colouring matter, the fluidity, and, eventually, the effervescence.  During blind tasting, the first few seconds of observation can help determine the typology of the parcel of vineyard, the vintage year, the development of the wine, and the yield of the vineyard.  The nuances of colour typical of one grape variety rather than another are also recognisable to the eye.  An Argentinian malbec is more likely to display a deep, dense, rich colour that veers towards purplish nuances than is a sangiovese from Romagna.  Inversely, a rube tint with slight transparency that is the result of light colouring mater that would be that of a pinot noir from Burgundy rather than an Australian shiraz.

To begin with, the taster should start by tilting the wine glass, which is held by the stem, in front of a source of light.  The transparency and the colour of the wine can thus be observed.  Under a clear light, the wine will reveal its fluidity and its limpidity as well as indications of its grape variety and the stage of its development.