How many things a wine professional can see in only one goblet of wine?!?
Every time they approach a glass of wine, they follow few simple steps to collect their thoughts. Like a wine pro does, to give each wine the attention it deserve and to understand if this wine is worth or not, just follow these steps.
Divide the tasting in 3 parts: visual, olfactory, flavors and their balance.
1#What do you see?
At first glance, you could think that examining how the wine looks like is not so important. Actually it gives useful informations that will help in the following steps.
Clarity: clear, slight haze, cloudy. Tilt the glass trough a source of light. The largest part of wines should be clear. If it is not so there could be many reasons:
- you are tasting a natural/biodynamic/unfiltered wine, often in this case the wine is supposed to be slight haze!
- it is an old vintage wine
- or in the worst of case, this wine has lost his characteristics and is no more drinkable.
Color hue and depth: it is connected to the grape variety, the vintage and the preservation of the wine.Tilt your glass on a white surface to observe the color.
The color hue and dept of the wine depends on the quantity and type of the pigments in the skin of the berries, each grape vine has its own mark of color. For example the color of Lambrusco Salamino is deep ruby red with sometimes purple reflections, while Nebbiolo is light garnet red, you won't find a deep red almost black Barolo!!
Considering the vintage, old wines usually has garnet, for red, or amber, for white, hues. But if the wine is young and supposed to be bright colored, a garnet edge or brown hues means that you will probably find off aromas and flavors going trough the next two steps of the tastings, so be prepared!!
Consistency: Swirl time! Swirl your glass to evaluate how thick the wine appears to be, how much sticks to the glass and how this wine flows down the sides. Consistency is related to the body/structure of the wine, the residual of sugar and the alcohol content.
Perlage, the bubbles. You have to observe the numbers of bubbles, their dimension and their persistance. A good sparkling wine should have a lot of small, persitant bubbles. Few bubbles or a big froth are not positive.