Experience Wine Tasting
During a cruise on one of our hotel barges, you will have the chance to
sample several of the finest wines they offer. Wine tasting can feel a
little overwhelming if you haven’t much experience, but fortunately,
this post helps to break the process down into four sip-size steps.
Wines differ from each other in color, texture, strength, body, smell, and taste. When you are tasting wine, consider these six things. Contrary to popular belief, the ability to discern flavors is not in the mouth. We smell tastes, rather than sampling them with our tongues and palates. In reality, the taste buds in our mouths can only distinguish flavors that are sour, sweet, bitter, and salty. Did you know that our flavor-sensitive nerve cells are actually at the top of the nose?
Wine Tasting in Four Steps
Angle your glass over a white background and inspect the color, intensity, and hue at the rim of the glass. Wines should be transparent and bright. A wine’s color and the depth of that color, indicates its age. Wines become paler as they get older. How the liquid flows within the glass reveals a wine’s richness.
Look for cloudiness, which can reveal a fault. Sediment in red wine is normal, though it should be allowed to settle before you inspect it.
Hold the glass under your nose and inhale through your nostrils. The first overall scent is known as the “nose”. There are hundreds of aroma compounds found in wine and the best way to identify them is to detect distinctive fragrances. Swirl the glass to oxidize the liquid, taking slow, delicate inhalations. Switch between smelling and pausing, giving yourself time to pick out each aroma.
Take a good mouthful of wine and move it around your entire mouth. Once you have swallowed the wine, the aftertaste, known as the finish, should provide you with a lingering flavor profile. Great wines have a lasting flavor that remains after swallowing. If you’re at an advanced level of wine-tasting, try to identify the tannins, acidity and general structure of the wine to give a sense of overall balance.
Next, have a medium-sized sip and repeat the process. Swallow or spit out the sample. Take a slow breath through your mouth and exhale through your nose to see if you can sense any different flavors.
Develop your palate by trying more wines. No one is born a wine connoisseur, so experiencing more wines helps to build your knowledge base. The more wines you try, the more you will distinguish the flavors you like. One way to actively think about the wines you are tasting is to note down your thoughts when sampling them and keep a record.
You could even rate your wines. Wine ratings were first popularized in the 1980s when Robert Parker introduced his 100 point system. Today, there are several rating scales to choose from, including a 5-star system, the 100-point scale, and a 20-point scale.
Barge Cruises with Wine-Tasting Experiences
Why not improve your wine tasting skills by dabbling in some comparative tasting on a barge cruise? Guests can sample wines on all our cruises and experience specialty tastings in regions like Burgundy and Venice.
If you are a seasoned wine-taster, then why not bring some friends and charter a whole barge for a wine-themed cruise? There are so many cruises to choose from. Not sure where to start? Contact us.
Interested ? Let’s get started !
If you have been dreaming about barging, perhaps now is the time to fulfill those dreams.
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