People generally view wines as complicated and difficult to fathom. But things are changing and wines are being accepted by the mainstream more readily. A trip to one of the great wine producing regions of the world such as Bordeaux in France, Napa Valley in California, Hunter valley in Australia, Nasik in India or Marlborough in New Zealand are immensely popular with wine loving travellers. In-fact, a holiday to these countries is not complete without visiting and tasting the local wines produced in the wine producing regions there. If you’re looking to make the most of a visit to these amazing locations, a wine tasting tour is a must. But, unless you’re a wine expert already, how can you make sure your wine tasting tour goes perfectly? Well, simply follow our top 5 wine tasting tips to keep things simple.
- Don’t go on an empty stomach
A good meal beforehand is absolutely essential before embarking on a wine tasting adventure. Alcohol absorption does happen in the stomach, but mainly in the small intestine. Having a meal beforehand helps slow the absorption of the alcohol, which means you stay sober for longer, giving you more time to try more wines, without losing the battle with gravity before the day ends. It has also been suggested that yeast is very effective in slowing the process, meaning a meal that involves bread is the way to go.
- Give the glass a good swirl
This is especially true when drinking tannin rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, or Bordeaux, and you often hear about how you should let a red wine breathe. Swirling the liquid in the glass allows the wine to oxidise, which enhance flavours and release aromas, ensuring you get the full experience when you take a sip. This helps soften the tannins in the wine, and often makes the wine less harsh.
The difference between red and white wines have nothing to do with the types of grapes used, although some grapes are preferred for reds while others for whites. The colour difference comes from the skin of the grapes. leave the skin on, and you end up with a red wine, peel the skins off and your left with a white.
- Avoid potent perfume or cologne
The beauty of our senses is how they all play a role in how we perceive things. It is well known that smell and taste goes hand in hand, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the wine tasting bar. A wine’s aroma is a very important part of its character, and avoiding heavy fragrances that conflict with this aroma is best avoided. It is also recommended to pay attention to your surroundings, as fragrances around you can also affect the taste of the wine. Be sure to sniff the wine before you taste to ensure you catch every little detail hidden in the glass.
- Cleanse your palate between wines
Experiencing the full flavour of every wine you taste goes much further than taking in the aroma and swirling the wine before drinking. Your taste buds are the key part of the experience after all. For this reason to avoid dulling your taste buds, it is recommended to cleanse your palate between wines. This is easily done with some white bread and a glass of water. A bite sized piece of bread followed by a sip of water will make sure that you experience the next wine on neutral standing. If you wish, you may partake in cheese, but avoid fruit as their sugars and acids could affect the taste as well.
- Drink plenty of water
Sipping wine in the sun is guaranteed to lead to dehydration. Staying hydrated is not only recommended to keep you going as the units of alcohol in your system adds up, it will also help you fend off a headache the following morning. Not to mention the palate cleansing advantages. Staying hydrated will definitely improve your wine tasting experience.