my petit sommelier

Compilation of Resources for the Wine Professional and Enthusiast
 

Home
Wine Tasting Tips
Fav Tasting Rooms
Wine Varietals
Wine & Food
Intro to Wine
Growing/Making
Wine & Oak
France
Italy
Certified Sommelier
Cert. Exam QAs
Serving Wine
Cocktails, etc.
Wine Menus
Desert Wine
About
Wine Glossary

SOME BASICS
Steps of Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting Demonstration
How To Swirl Wine
Elements of Flavor in Wine
How to Describe a Wine's Body
VISUAL ELEMENTS
What are Legs?
Meniscus in Wine Tasting
Clarity of Wine
Color of Wine
SMELLING TECHNIQUE
Aroma Vs. Bouquet in Wine Tasting
Smelling Wine from the Top of the Glass
Smelling Wine form the Bottom of the Glass
Smelling Wine from the Middle of the Glass
Smelling Wine from Top of Glass
PRIMARY AROMAS
Identifying Primary Aromas in Wine Tasting
Buttery Aromas
Yeasty Aromas
Nutty Aromas
Chemical Aromas
Spicy Aromas
Mineral Aromas
Vegetable Aromas
Smoky Aromas
Caramel Aromas
Wood Aromas in Wines
TASTING THE WINE
Identifying Balance in Wines
Identifying Sweetness in Wine Tasting
 Bitterness in Wines
Alcohol Flavors in Wines
Tannin in Wine
Identifying Acidity in Wine Tasting
Deductive Reasoning Tasting Format
Tasting Notes & How to Read Them

THE BASICS
Steps of Wine Tasting
 
Back-To-Top

Wine Tasting Demonstration
 
Back-To-Top

 How to Swirl Wine for Wine Tasting
 
Back-To-Top

Elements of Flavor in Wines
 
Back-To-Top

How to Describe a Wine's Body

Back-To-Top

VISUAL ELEMENTS
What are Legs in Wine Tasting?
 
Back-To-Top

Meniscus in Wine Tasting
 
Back-To-Top

Clarity in Wine Tasting

Back-To-Top

 Color in Wine Tasting
 
Back-To-Top

SMELLING THE WINE
Aroma Vs. Bouquet in Wine Tasting

Back-To-Top

Smelling From the Bottom of the Glass
 
Back-To-Top


Smelling Wine from the Top of the Glass

Back-To-Top

Smelling Wine from the Middle of the Glass

Back-To-Top

Smelling Wine From the Top of the Glass

Back-To-Top

PRIMARY AROMAS
Identifying Primary Aromas in Wine Tasting
 
Back-To-Top

 Buttery Aromas in Wines
 
Back-To-Top

 Yeasty Aromas in Wines

Back-To-Top

Nutty Aromas in Wines

Back-To-Top

Chemical Aromas in Wines
 
Back-To-Top

 Spicy Aromas in Wines

Back-To-Top

Mineral Aromas in Wines

Back-To-Top

Vegetable Aromas in Wines
 

Back-To-Top

Smoky Aromas in Wines

Back-To-Top

 Caramel Aromas in Wines
 
Back-To-Top

Wood Aromas in Wines
 
Back-To-Top

TASTING THE WINE
Identifying Balance in Wines

Back-To-Top

Identifying Sweetness in Wine Tasting

Back-To-Top

Bitterness in Wines

Back-To-Top

Alcohol Flavors in Wines
 

Back-To-Top

 What is Tannin in Wine?

Back-To-Top

Identifying Acidity in Wine Tasting

Back-To-Top

 

“Deductive Reasoning Tasting Format”

The following steps in tasting wines are commonly used in a blind tasting format and commonly known in the wine community as a “deductive reasoning tasting format”

After tasting and confirming the sight and smell, an initial and final conclusion may be determined.

Quality wines have a good balance between the acids, tannins, fruit and alcohol. A good quality of wine will linger on the palate after it has been swallowed.

Wines require a proper balance of acid to enable the wine to linger.

Some Useful Descriptive Terms

1. The glass must have an ample bowl for tilting and swirling.
2. Swirling the wine releases the aromas technically known as
    alderhydes and esters.
3. The glass must be clean to determine the viscosity or
    thickness of the wine.
4. Sight, swirl, smell, sip, savor

Appearance (Sight)
The appearance of wine should indicate:
Clarity (All wines should be clear)
- If a wine is cloudy, it may contain sediment that needs to
  settle.
- If a wine is cloudy the wine may be “tainted”.
- The brightness may indicate if a wine has been filtered.
- Brightness is described as:
Star bright - Day bright – Bright - Dull

Color
- White wine will range from colorless to gold
- A yellow or gold color may indicate an older wine or it may
  indicate the wine is from a warm climate
- A greenish hue may indicate a young wine or a wine from a
  cold climate
- Red wines range from a light cherry/purple to a deep
  ruby/garnet and perhaps even brown.
- Young wines may be purple
- Older wines may be deeper red or even brown
- Color intensity (concentration) indicates fuller body

Rim variation
- Rim variation may indicate the age of the wine.
- Rim variation is determined by tilting the glass at an angle,
  change of wine color from center to outer rim
- Little rim variation from the center of the glass to the rim
  may indicate a young wine
- Older wines show a change of color (maybe even orange or
  brown developing at the rim for red wines.)

Gas
- Gas will be present in sparkling wines
- The concentration of bubbles may indicate quality
- Gas may be present in still wines, indicating a young wine or a
  wine that is bad.

 Viscosity
- Viscosity is determined by the “legs” formed on the glass
  when swirling.
- Thick legs may indicate a higher sugar, alcohol content
  (or both).
- Light legs (sheeting down the glass) may indicate low alcohol
  content.

Smell/Nose/Bouquet/Aroma
- Scientific research suggests there are over 10,000 different
  smells
- The olfactory bulb location is in proximity to the part of the
  brain that stores memory, making the sense of smell the
  strongest trigger to our memories.
- Swirling the wine releases esters and aldehydes
- First is to check for a fault
- TCA is the most common fault. Smell is moldy or damp
  cardboard, faulty cork.
- TeCA caused by climate conditions of the cellar.
- Correct smell in wine should be similar to smells such as
  fruitiness,herbaceous or vegetative, nutty, caramel, woody,
  earthy, chemical, pungent, microbiological, floral, and spicy
.
- Wood aging may be detected
- Wines from Sonoma and Napa will be fruit forward
- If the smell warms your nose, it may indicate high alcohol
- The quality of the wine may be detected by variety of aromas,
  the complexity

Taste/Sip & Savor
Although we have 5000 taste buds, we can only detect the following flavors:
Sweetness (in the tip of the tongue)
Saltiness (on the front right and front left sides of the tongue)
Sourness (on the back right and back left sides of the tongue)
Bitterness (on the back of the tongue)
Umami (MSG)
   
Taste confirms the appearance and bouquet
- Sweetness/dryness is the first assessment.
Terms to describe the dryness (acid) or sweetness (sugar) of wine: Bone dry – dry – off dry – sweet – very sweet
- Acidity and tannins are the next assessment.
Low – medium – high

Next, the fruit, minerals, wood and spices are assessed (confirmation of the aromas)

The final step is assessing the finish of the wine.
- The length of time that the flavor remains on the tongue after
  the wine has been consumed is considered the finish.
– Long finish may indicate a higher quality
– Acid is needed to create the finish.

Wines from Sonoma and Napa tend to be riper, higher in oak, higher in alcohol moderate in acidity and clean (not earthy).

back to top

Wine Tasting & Food Pairings with
“Miss Jane” Nickles

“Miss Jane” Nickles is the author of "Wine Speak 101", and a wine writer for "The Texas Wine and Food Gourmet", and "Eat and Drink Magazine".

Jane is a certified specialist of wine, recognized by the society of wine educators. "Miss Jane," as her students call her, is the Sommelier Instructor for the Texas Culinary Academy, and she presents her popular wine seminars at Wine Bars, Restaurants, and Culinary Festivals throughout the country.

winespeak101.com