Arguably, red wine is the most prominent wine option all over the world. With plenty of flavor profiles, blends, and variations, there appears to be no end to the possible styles and production of red wine.
Over the years, winemakers or vintners have been making red wines and evaluating their techniques to create a vast array of wines. With so many types of red wines available today, it can be challenging to find the one that suits your palate.
For a little help, we’ll walk you through some essential tasting guide that can aid you throughout the process of not only drinking but genuinely experiencing the glass of red wine. Read on to know more!
Know the Label
Although you know hardly about red wines, you can learn more by merely looking at the bottle. If you’re going to a particular vineyard and want to try its offerings, then you probably know where the grapes are from. Take Vosne Romanee Wines, for example, which are produced in Burgundy, with Pinot Noir as the chief grape.
However, if you’re purchasing wine at a restaurant or at the store and hope to make a wise choice, then knowing where the wine came from is a great start. So, what should you look for? In areas where colder climates are prevalent, they tend to make light-bodied wines.
It will be the case for countries like northern Italy, Chile, Germany, north of France, and the Pacific Northwest region of the US. On the other hand, in areas where warmer climates are prevalent, they tend to make riper, full-bodied wines with a stronger flavor. These areas include southern France, California, and Argentina.
Since this a comprehensive explanation, of course, there’ll be exceptions to these rules. Usually, vintners like to produce wines that consumers wouldn’t expect to taste from their regions.
Soil variations and microclimates can have a significant impact on the grapes grown in those places. Above all, these small exceptions will indeed change the overall flavor profile of the wine.
Red wines that are typically almost non transparent originates from warm-climate regions and are aged for a short time. Moreover, if you notice wine legs on the sides of the glans after swirling the wine, this may be an indication of the level of sweetness or alcohol of the wine.
Before you drink wine, ensure to pick the appropriate glass for the kind of red wine you’ll be drinking. Nevertheless, all red wines are best in glasses with rounded, large bowls. But lighted-bodied red wines are best in shorter glass that let your nose closer to the wine.
On the other hand, full-bodied red wines typically do best in taller glasses that offers more room for the intense aromas to move around.
Pour and Gently Swirl
Once the wine has been decanted or left to breathe for some time, you can then pour some for yourself. Keep in mind to do this with care. While you pour the wine into your glass, ensure to identify the type of body the wine has.
Consider observing the following:
- Is it slightly thicker or very viscous?
- When you pour, does it coat the sides of the glass?
- Based on what you noticed during the pour, what do you think the wine would taste like?
After pouring the wine into your glass, slowly, cautiously swirl the wine in the glass. Do observe the density and body of the red wine. Also, take note of whether solids are floating around the wine.
Red wines that are typically almost non-transparent originates from warm-climate regions and are aged for a short time. Moreover, if you notice wine legs on the sides of the glass after swirling the wine, this may be an indication of the level of sweetness or alcohol of the wine.
Smell the Wine
Determine the notes of your red wine by taking a sniff of the aromas of the wine. Try getting your nose close enough to the glass’s rim so that you can get a specific scent. When smelling the wine, you might discern three levels of aromas:
- First, you will probably get the chief scent of the wine, which is fruit-based. Try finding other fruity scents other than grapes. Do you smell currants, strawberries, or blackberries? Close your eyes, and try to determine what you smell, describe it as thoroughly as possible.
- Second, you may smell the flavors made throughout the winemaking process. The familiar flavors you may sense include mint, pepper, vanilla, or rose.
- Third, you might find hints of oak, coffee, smoke, or leather. Typically, the smell of an aging vessel.
Now, you can take a small sip of your wine. However, do not swallow it right away. Allow it to move around your tongue and try to determine whether the wine has lots of tannins or sweet. Or maybe this wine has some intense flavors that you were not expecting.
It can take a little while to master the enjoyment of drinking red wine. Perhaps you might need more practice. Fortunately, learning is enjoyable and pleasing rather than a chore. With this guide in mind, you should feel a little more prepared and confident to explore the world of red wine.