Wine tastings are supposed to adhere to the methods used by cellar masters. With all these barrels to go through, they could become confused if they consumed a glass of each…
The Four Stages
An experienced host at a wine tasting party will invite their guests to a four-stage process, and provide feedback for discussion at each point. Their goal will be to create a profile of what the group thinks of each product. The topics should include (a) complexity and character (b) whether to age or drink now, and (c) anything they do not like by way of aroma and taste.
Step 1: Hold the glass to the light. Is the liquid clear? Do you find the colour attractive?
Step 2: Lightly agitate the glass to release the natural aroma of the wine. Is it earthy, floral, herbal, or fruity?
Step 3: Take a sip into your mouth. Lightly slosh it around to excite your taste buds. Would you like to drink it? Hold it right there! Should you drink it at all? Probably not in a top-end wine cellar where they may ask you to spit it out, or at the very least pour the rest of the glass away. We think that this defeats the object of buying the bottle. Let us go to the final stage now!
Step 4: Allow the wine to slide gently down your throat. Then answer the ultimate question. Is there a nice finishing after-taste?
How to Host Your Own Wine Tasting?
Invite three friends, or couples. Select one white, one rose, and one red wine from our private collection. Cover the labels before the people arrive to prevent bias from price or geographic origin. If you are ambitious, you can combine the evening with a dinner party.
Otherwise, make sure there are wafer biscuits for snacking between glasses to ‘clear the palate’ between wines.
Always begin with the least robust wine so it ‘dents your taste buds’ the least. In our example, the appropriate order would be white, then rose, then red. If you are tasting white wine only, then begin with the dry, and end with the sweet.