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Tasting wine at home with friends, as opposed to just drinking it

While learning languages, it`s important to speak words out loud. Same with wine-speak. And regurgitating wine words is even more fun when doing so in good company, with other students of wine. Even more so when there is a decent drop of wine between you! Indeed, many a wine society started in just such a way.  Take turns to describe the wine in your own words, each of you. Together, first look at the colour of the wine. Tip the glass, preferably over white paper in a true light, and describe what you see: colour, rim and clarity.  A wine`s colour can have many shades and gradations as it spreads out to the rim. The rim itself is like water, but how precisely and intensely does the colour run to its edge? As for clarity: most wines are “clear”, without cloud or sediment, but some look “lacklustre” others “bright”, even “lustrous”.  Next, smelling or “nosing” the wine – the “aroma” – with a swirl of the glass let each person in your circle describe his and her first impression: red, black, white, blue or stone fruits; floral aromas, such as violets, blossom and acacia; any herbs or spices? Anything else?  Your own words. Can you smell alcohol? An “alcoholic wine” is one with too high an alcohol content, out of balance with its fruit and acidity – you can improve it by chilling it down, usually – nothing worse than an overly warm red, except one which is also high in alcohol! The next stage of the tasting process is, of course, tasting the wine: take a good mouthful and suck a little air through it. How does it taste? Sweet, dry, savoury, salty, bitter, sharp? How does it feel?  Light, full-bodied, rounded, soft, fleshy, velvety, chalky, harsh, unctuous, watery? Consider the “aftertaste”, the flavours left on the palate once the wine is swallowed or spat.  Then, having had a good chat about all of this, turn to google and search the wine in question for a professional`s tasting note.  How do yours compare? Remember there`s no right or wrong, and just have fun. Happy tasting, folks!

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