Wine is one of the most popular and complex alcoholic beverages in the world and it’s history dates back centuries and centuries. Most of us love a good glass of wine either with dinner or to unwind at the end of a long day, but if you’re like most people you’ve probably picked out a bottle of wine thinking it would be great and finding that it’s terrible! This has happened to all wine drinkers at least once, and to some degree it’s a part of the lifelong experience of loving wine – discovering what you like is just as important as discovering what you don’t like. At the same time, wouldn’t it be great to be armed with a few tools to know whether a bottle of wine is good or not before you buy and drink it? If you frequent wine bars or wineries, you can likely taste wines before you buy them, but there are a few things you can look at before tasting to help you predict if it’s something you’re going to like or not. If you’re someone who finds themself searching ‘wine near me’ often, then keep reading for tips on how to select the best wine every time!
Look at the Color
The first thing you should look at when tasting wine is the color. The color can tell you a variety of things about the wine just by looking at it. Wine gets its color from the skin of the grapes used to make it, and depending on what kind of grapes and how long the skins were soaked in for, it can make a huge difference in the way it tastes. This is why white wine and red wine have distinct colors, because they are made from different colored grapes. Red is made from red grapes and white from white grapes. The darkness of the color can also tell you how long it was soaked in the barrel for. The longer the soak, the darker the color. This is typically noticed in reds. The darker the color, the bolder and deeper the flavor of the wine will be.
What Does the Swirl Mean?
You may have seen someone swirl their wine in their glass before smelling and tasting it. This is done for a few reasons and can really help you get the full flavor of the wine. Swirling your wine does two things. For one, it shows you the wines ‘legs,’ which refers to the droplets of wine left on the side of the glass after you swirl. This will help you determine the alcohol content and the sugar content of the wine. Higher alcohol wine will have more pronounced legs, and high sugar content wines will drip down more slowly. The second thing it does is help the wine aerate and bring out the full flavors before tasting it. Before you take a sip, take a gentle whiff of the wine. This will also help your taste buds get more of the full flavors of your beverage.
Taste is Everything
At the end of the day, how a wine tastes to you is the best determining factor in selecting the best bottles of wine every time. Everyone has different tastes, and many find that very old expensive wines just don’t taste that good to them. It’s all about everyone’s personal preference and what kind of flavors they like. One flavor profile that often gets talked about is the body of a wine, and that’s what we’re going to briefly touch on next.
What Does ‘Body’ Mean When Tasting Wine?
The body of a wine is a word that sommeliers will use to describe a wine’s flavor, but what does it mean? Wine body refers to how light or heavy the wine feels in the mouth and helps pair wines with certain foods and meals. For example, light bodied wines pair well with poultry and seafood which is wine you’ll often see white wines paired with those kinds of foods. Conversely, red meats and heavy foods are often paired with medium and full bodied wines like reds. The body of a wine can help you determine what will go with your perfect bottle.
Color, legs and flavor are three of the most important aspects when it comes to tasting and selecting the perfect bottle of wine. These will help you understand how the wine was made, what it will pair with and hopefully help you find your new favorite winery! At the end of the day, it all comes down to your personal preferences in terms of flavor profiles. Some people are strict white drinkers while others prefer a nice bold glass of red. If you’re the kind that likes both, then have fun exploring all the wonderful wines out there!