3 Steps to Wine Tasting Success June 15, 2017
All of the fun with none of the snobbery? Count us in. Learn how to taste wine like a pro just in time for the launch of the HelloFresh Wine Club, and get $20 off your first box!
Everyone who received a box this week and read the latest issue of the Fresh Life got an inside scoop into Bianca Bosker’s year and a half long journey to become a sommelier — from 8am wine tastings to training with master perfumers to articulate the stench of the subway. Along the way, her book Cork Dork was born as a way to make wine more friendly. Because let’s be honest — most people can’t detect buttery undertones, hints of charcoal, or lush, velvety textures. But if there’s anything we’ve learned since the launch of the HelloFresh Wine Club, it’s that you don’t have to be an expert sommelier with a super refined palate to enjoy wine. With a few guidelines, tips, and tricks, anyone can sharpen their senses and have maximum fun in the kitchen with wine.
1. Take a close look
Before you start sipping, take a few moments to examine the colors of the wine.
For red wines, it’s all about intensity. The more intense the color, the bolder the flavors. The less intense, the subtler the flavors. Also keep in mind that, as red wines age, they tend to lose color and become more transparent.
When it comes to white wines, the key is to look for major and minor colors. Green-hued whites tend to be more savory while golden-copper hued whites are on the fruity side. As white wines age, they become more yellow/brown with increased pigment.
2. Swirl and sniff
Place the wine glass on the table, hold it carefully, and move your hand as if you’re drawing tiny circles with the base. Doing so will aerate the wine (aerate means exactly what it sounds like: let air hit the wine) and release its aromas.
While you’re at it, check out the viscosity (which is just a fancy way to say wine legs or the droplets of wine that form on the inside of a glass). The thicker and more viscous the legs, the sweeter and more alcoholic the wine.
When you go in for the sniff, just remember that a single glass can have hundreds of different subtle aromas and that there’s no wrong answers. To start, think big. We’re talking fruity, herby, or floral. From there, narrow it down as best you can. For example, what types of fruits do you smell? Citrus, berries, tropical? What types of berries? You’d be surprised how much your nose can tell you about the grapes.
3. Sip and swish
And finally, it’s time to taste! Take a small sip (about a mouthwash amount) and swish it a bit until it coats your entire tongue. Ask yourself — is it salty, sour, sweet, or bitter? Do the flavors match the aromas? Does it make your tongue feel dry? (If it does, those are the tannins.) Does the taste in your mouth linger after you’re finished swallowing?
Sauté, simmer, and sip with wines hand-selected to pair with your HelloFresh meals by joining our new Wine Club. We’re offering blog readers $20 off their first box (either by using that link or entering the code WINE-BLOG at checkout), which can only mean one thing: there’s going to be a whole lot of #HelloFreshSips this summer!