Monday, August 16, 2010

Wine Q & A with How to Taste

It’s time to dive into another burning wine question with, and this week, our issue goes right to the heart of our interaction with what’s in the glass. The question, then, is this: “What is the proper ‘routine’ for swirling, smelling, and sipping wine?”

Anyone who’s seen Sideways, or tasted with a wine lover, knows how detailed--and, perhaps, absurd--the tasting routine can seem. The best comparison I’ve ever heard is that it often looks like the taster is auditioning for a Listerine commercial with all the swirling and spitting. The truth, however, is that despite the apparent complexity of it, the tasting routine is actually quite simple. Click here for an excellent video from on exactly how to go about it. For a more detailed accounting of the routine, click here for a rundown by the Association of Wine Educators.

So why do we taste wine like this , whereas we typically don’t engage in such activity with, say, beer or cola? The simple answer is that wine is so complex, and possesses so much detail and nuance, that we want to do everything we can to pull out as much information as possible from every glass in order to understand it as well as possible.

It may look silly to some, but if it leads to deriving more pleasure from the wine, then it’s all worth it.


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