The best way to learn about wine is to host a simple wine tasting party. Invite a few friends in, pick a few good bottles of wine, music and there you go, a memorable party. The event will be much more rewarding if you know at least the basics about wine. If you are a neophyte, though, you will be in for a treat since discovering a different kind of wine is entertaining with an open heart and an open mind. The critical elements in a successful wine tasting party are a bottle of Sassicaia, a corkscrew, an open mind, and good company. (Image Credit: Jo Wiggijo from Pixabay)
It is recommended to do a little bit of tasting before the designated lunch or dinner since the taste buds would be ready for the wine pairings for the meals. You should serve them with four wine glasses in front of them, depending on how many wines would you like them to taste. Pour each glass with an ounce and a half per drink as to have enough wine left for later.
Roll the bottles in foil and don’t forget to remove the capsules at the top of each bottle. Take note that it is easier to uncork the wine bottle with the foil wrapped around it. You should mark each bottle with a marking pen so the right wine would be spot on in the right glass. Don’t refer to them by name but with numbers such as wine no.1 or wine no.2. Reveal only the label of the wine after the tasting is over. Tasting the wine is an essential part of the tasting party. People tend to have an affinity to wines they know or wines that have sophisticated names, leaving out names they don’t know or like by name. With this method, you would leave your guests surprised and happy to discover new wines.
It is preferable to clothe your tables with white sheets so the guests will have an easier time assessing the color of the wine. You could also manage the glasses using plastic-coated sheets as their soft and friction free-free material would swirl the bottle quickly for easier pouring.
Always keep the white wines dry-chilled in a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees and the red wines to 60 to 65 degrees. Letting the wines be kept in a refrigerator temperature causes their flavors to be stunted while allowing them to become too warm makes them dull to the taste.
Always provide the guests with palate cleaners such as excellent bread or crackers in between tasting different wines. French bread and neutral biscuits are excellent choices, Better yet is light food, which actively gets rid of the flavors more quickly.
One doesn’t need to swallow the wine he/she is tasting. The less wine you consume, the more you will retain your keenness in tasting the wine. Spit buckets or spittoons can be large plastic cups or mugs. It should be well weighted to avoid turning them over quickly. Also, having a large bucket at the side of the table is recommended for guests to spit and empty their glasses.
The first thing to look at the wine is the color. To study the wine more efficiently, check its color behind a white background. A young red wine that has a brown color at the rim means that that wine is aging too quickly while in white wines, having a dark color indicates that it may be showing signs of incipient oxidation.
Then swirl the wine, doing this releases the aroma of the wine. Wines have a wide array of aromas, ranging from caramel, wild rose, earth, etc.
When wine tasting, go ahead and have a sizable portion of a sip. Retain the wine in your mouth and swirl it inside and let the wine coat your entire palate. Notice each element carefully and assess them one by one.
Breathe in some air through your front teeth and across your tongue and slowly gargle the wine inside your mouth. Always remember that your taste buds could only recognize four basic tastes: Sweetness, acidity, saltiness, and bitterness. All of the other flavors reach your brain through your retronasal passage that is located at the back of your tongue or throat. By “grinding” the wine between your teeth or tasting is with your breath, the subtle elements of the wine will vaporize.
Hosting a successful wine tasting party does not only consists of elegant and sophisticated wines. You should have the determination and preparedness to make this event successful such as how winemakers brew their wines with precision and a sense of fragility. In the end, the goal of the wine tasting party is to leave your guests happy and satisfied.