Wine and the Senses

Wed, 06/22/2011 - 07:01 -- The-Wine-Man

When tasting wine there are three key measures of equal importance: visual examination, an olfactory examination, and of course taste.   Although not as important as these primary elements, the tasting of a wine is incomplete without touching it and believe it or not, listening to it as well.

Before even thinking of raising the glass to the lips, spend a minute to appreciate the wine’s color and bouquet or fragrance.  A lot of people underestimate the importance of this step in the experience of tasting.  It’s easy to see it as a pompous ritual, but that misses so much of a wine.  For the visual and olfactory (nose) part of tasting provide 70% of the necessary information about a wine, only to be confirmed in the mouth.

Wine must be approached with humility.  The arrogant cannot properly analyse wine because tasting is a delicate operation that never leads to simplistic or improvised conclusions, and even less to generalizations.  Don’t be cocky and assume you know what the wine will reveal.  Judging the complexity and harmony of a wine, its evolution and its capacity for ageing, requires immense experience that can only be acquired with time, passion, and the pleasure derived from challenge.