A wine tasters guide;Swirl,Smell,Slurp & Swallow. Ask The Wine Ladies. May 2009

Dear Wine Ladies,

What is the proper way to taste wine? Is it really appropriate to slurp your wine as you might a hot soup? According to a “wine expert” friend of mine, she says it is and maintains that all the experts do it. What do you say?

Calgary, Alberta

Dear Anna,

Slurping does indeed enhance the appreciation of the flavour and enjoyment of the wine. Taking in a small breath with the wine, will slightly aerate it making it easier to detect the nuances of flavour. while swishing it in your mouth will also allow the wine to reach all the areas of your palate, registering the sweetness, the acidity and the body.
As for the sound affect that accompanies slurping, it can be done discreetly, although many a wine expert do not shy away from an audible slurp.

As to the proper way to taste wine, there are several steps you can take to ensure you’re getting the most out of the glass. First have a look at the color; with the reds, generally darker, deeper colored wines will be richer in flavor and lighter ones, the opposite. Colour too, can be an indicator of the age of a wine. Red wines become lighter over time, while white wines, which start with little pigment become darker.

Smelling the wine is next, this step is hugely important as approximately 90% of taste, is about the smell. Swirling the glass will aerate the wine and release vapors, evaporating from the sides of the glass. This will intensify the aroma. Swirl and smell. It’s time to taste, finally! Take a sip of the wine, take in a little air as described above and slurp. Enjoy the length or finish of the wine after you’ve swallowed. How long does the taste linger? A long finish is a good indicator of a well made wine.


The Wine Ladies,

Georgia and Susanne

Submit your questions to info@thewineladies.com

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