There are several important things novice wine tasters should know. The wine tasting process doesn’t need to be fussy or complicated, but rather just some simple guidance for all wine lovers to indulge their enjoyment in a deeper way.
The first step is observing the wine. Tip the glass to a 45 degree angle and view the colour and intensity. Reds lose colour with age and whites gain colour. So reds go from a deep purple to become a garnet colour. Whites go from watery green to a golden deep yellow. There should be a transparency and lack of cloudiness for both of white and red wines. Swish the wine around in the glass, observe the legs, the wine that climbs the side of the glass; this indicates the quality and richness of the wine.
The second step is observing the smell through a couple of short quick inhales. Beginners should use more generalised descriptions such as floral, fruity or spicy and avoid lengthy and strange associations.
Lastly, the tasting of the wine. Tasters should look for length, the ability of the flavour to last in the mouth long after the first hit, and balance, which refers to the presence of tannins and acids. Tannins are the dense parts of the grape found in the crushed seeds and skins that taste hard on the palate. Wine with too much acid tastes tart and bitter. There should be a balance between the two elements.
There is no better place than the Marlborough region in the South Island of New Zealand to try white wine. This region is renowned throughout the world for its selection of crisp, dry whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Check out the famous Oyster Bay Winery in the heart of the Marlborough region for inspiration and wine tasting treats. Go there with the confidence of knowing the basics of tasting and assessing wine. Wine-tasting is not just for experts, it’s for everybody who loves a good drop.