If “tears”, “arches” or “legs” appear on the inner walls when the wine moves in the glass, their presence indicates the strength of the wine, its density, viscosity, oiliness, the level of saturation of the wine with alcohol and a high content of glycerin, this and there are visual indicators of concentration. In light and low-extractive wines, they are practically invisible.
The visual assessment is given using the following terminology:
– Purity and transparency (opaque, crystal clear, transparent, foggy, cloudy, dim…);
– Brightness (bright, shiny, sparkling, dull, matte…);
– Shades (salty, golden, ruby, garnet, cherry, purple…);
– Intensity (light, persistent, deep, saturated, intense…).
The second analysis is olfactory, it is carried out by smelling. Our nose is a thousand times more sensitive than the sky and can distinguish up to 4,000 aromas. More than 500 aromatic substances have been found in wines. Wine aromas are classified by type:
– fruit aromas (blackcurrant, redcurrant, raspberry, cherry, cherry, apple, apricot, banana, prune…);
– floral aromas (violets, roses, iris, rose hips, elder, peony, jasmine, acacia, linden…);
– plant aromas (grasses, ferns, undergrowth, hay, moss, raw earth, chalk, mushrooms…);
– empyromatic aromas (burnt, toasted bread, roasted coffee, soot, roasted almonds…);
– spicy aromas (pepper, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, saffron…);
– balsamic aromas (incense, resin, pine, vanilla…),
– animal aromas (meat, game, fur…) etc.
Some aromas are abnormal for wine: acetone, vinegar, “cork”, sourness, sauerkraut, rubber, rotten eggs, etc.
There are primary, secondary and tertiary aromas. The primary aromatic components are varietal, coming from grapes. Secondary aromas are formed during fermentation, and they make up the main aromas. Tertiary aromas are formed in wines during aging.
The correct temperature of use is very important to reveal the aromatic components of the product. Wine that is too cold will be closed, and too warm will cause too rapid evaporation, during which oxidation and destruction of the most volatile aromas will occur. Evaluation of aromas is carried out in three stages.
After a visual assessment, we do not shake the wine, but smell it with a preliminary exhalation.
How to properly taste wine
The “first nose” is barely detectable volatile substances, the character of which changes rapidly under the influence of oxygen. A different degree of intensity of primary aromas is also determined here. Then we turn the glass clockwise, holding it by the stem or stand. This can be done with a standing glass on the table, during this action the wine is saturated with oxygen (aeration), aromatic substances are released and possible carbon dioxide residues are released. Aeration (from the Greek “aer” – air) – artificial saturation of various environments with oxygen and oxidation of organic substances contained in them.
“Second nose” – helps to give an assessment with a more open aroma.
“Third nose” – allows you to evaluate the aromatic evolution and trace the resistance of aromas to the influence of oxygen. It is very good to use several glasses in the tasting of one wine in order to evaluate the primary, secondary, tertiary aromas, etc. in the first one, and to trace the self-development of the wine in the second one. The duration and intensity of the aromatic components that remain can be checked very easily, just pour out the remaining wine from the glass and smell the empty glass.
Remember that wines for every day have, as a rule, a simple bouquet, they are simple and monotonous, they can be evaluated in a few words. In turn, great wines have deeper and more complex aromas.
After the aromatic evaluation, we proceed to the taste evaluation. We will need a small (20-30 ml) amount of wine, with which we moisten the palate, then the entire oral cavity, “chew”, then “ventilate” it, drawing in air through the lips compressed into a tube, and exhaling through the nose.
We swallow a small amount and spit it out, but during an amateur tasting it is not necessary to spit out the wine at all. Our tongue can distinguish four taste directions: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Also, we feel: coolness, warmth, softness, viscosity, tannicity (tolerance), etc.
Tannins in wine
Tannin is a very important element, it belongs to the group of phenols, causes a burning sensation in the mouth (astringency). These substances are contained in the skin, pits, and ridges of grapes, they contribute to the improvement of the wine during aging in the bottle. They can be both green, rough, caustic, hard, and soft, rounded, velvety.
The taste assessment is given using the following terminology:
– Positives – elegant, thin, delicate, full-bodied, whipped, formed, well-built, rounded, balanced, “buttery”, rich, etc.
– Negative – watery, faded, shapeless, flat, unbalanced, etc. Wine texture is usually compared to the feeling of touching various fabric surfaces: satin, silk, velvet, etc.