Taking up wine tasting as a hobby is good for a lot more than just impressing first dates. The world of wine can be an extremely rewarding one, with plenty of social as well as cultural advantages. You can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, or as part of a designated tasting event, knowing that either one will be vastly improved by your ability to appreciate the glass to the fullest. Here are some of the basics to get you started on your wine tasting journey.
Different Kinds of Wine
Even complete novices generally know that the most basic categories of wine are red and white. However, after that, identifying different types of wine can get confusing quickly. In general, a wine’s name corresponds with the type of grape it is made from. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon wine is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Understanding some of the main types of wine is key to making successful pairings of wine and food.
Pairing Wine and Food
Often, the darker the protein used in the main dish of a meal, the darker the wine it ought to be paired with. However, there are other factors to take into account as well, such as the seasoning used in the dish. Sweat or spicy dishes should be enjoyed with sweeter wines, while more savory meals generally pair with dry wines. There are some specialty wines as well. Champagne is generally enjoyed as an aperitif before meals, while dessert wines are generally drunk after eating.
How to Taste Wine
A good glass of wine may tempt you to gulp it down quickly, but successfully tasting wine is all about going slow. First, ensure that wine is served in the proper glass. There are several different variations on the classic wine stemware. In general, the fizzier and more effervescent the wine, the thinner and taller the glass it should be served in. Once you have the wine in front of you, begin by giving it a sniff. Try to detect the odor of fruit or other flavors that may be present in the wine. Next, take a small drink. Hold it at the front of your mouth and let it roll towards the back, activating all the different taste regions on your tongue. Only after you have allowed yourself to fully taste all the flavors in the wine should you swallow.
Wine is a delicious addition to a meal and equally good for enjoying on its own. Make the most of your favorite wine by learning to appreciate it like a true connoisseur.