Drinking wine aside, there really is lots to learn and appreciate about wine. From the number of grape varieties that are in existence (which is gazillion), to the art of growing the fine stuff. I could be on the internet for hours at a time reading and scouring away.
What I am quite intrigued about and what I got into quite a bit just before becoming pregnant at the end of last year was trying to learn more about how to distinguish between different wines and more so, trying to taste the flavours, aromas and characteristics of wines that were described on the labels. It was then the task of trying to put this information and the right lingo together and sound like I know what Im talking about.
As I plan on becoming a sought after wine taster in the future, I envisage bottles and bottles of awesome wine lined up on my kitchen bench ready to be reviewed and rated. Can you picture it? Kids having an arvo nap, dinner all done by midday, a couple of reviewing buddies who just happen to pop over after lunch. (Perhaps a chauffeur to go pick the kids up from school...ha ha!!) That is why I really do need to learn all this you see.
I think it is all rather interesting. Especially after that light globe moment many moons ago where it became apparent...'Yeah but how can it taste like blackberries if they don't put any blackberries in the wine.' Durhh! ha ha. So naive.
You can actually learn all this apparently, without having to be an expert on the science or chemistry nor do you need to be a head honcho in the industry. You just need some basics and lots of practice.
The practice bit I like, though it is on hold for the time being as you know. But there is no reason why I cant show you what I started with on the Windmill Wine-Down today and put you onto an excellent website and blog that can start you on your own wine tasting journey if you do so choose.
The website and blog is called Wine Folly. Though much of the content is American based it still has excellent tutorials and great, funny blog posts to help you understand in normal everyday language how you to can enjoy and learn all there is to know about wine. I reckon you'll see another post or two of my tutorial triumphs here again as I think its pretty tops..
One night as it so happens I plonked myself at the table with one of our Tarzali Neds Reds, with the purpose of hopefully sprooking it on the blog one of these days. I thought Id have a go at trying to taste and pick out some of the characteristics of the wine for myself and I started with this tutorial from the Wine Folly blog...
Geek Technique on How to Taste Red Wine.
In four simple steps I was on my way to tasting success. Well not really. ha ha!!
Its all about the senses when tasting wine as you may have read or know already. Smell, taste, texture and of course how the wine looks. Putting it all together sounded pretty straight forward. Pick up your glass and give the wine a swirl and observe. Hover your snozz over the glass and give the wine a good sniff. Then you have a nice big sip, swish it all around in your mouth to get all of the flavour and texture, then gulp and savour. Thats sounds easy enough right?
I am happy to report that parts of steps definetely are easy to decipher and do help with understanding the ropes on wine tasting. There are even a few little pictures and diagrams to help as well. There was and is still lots to learn and it certainly wasnt going to come to fruition over only two and a half glasses of red. (Okay four.)
Though I did wonder as to how much wine you would have to drink in a session to get the tasting to come to fruition? (I may need a partner in crime for that session.)
The Wine Folly did spell out this tutorial in a simple manner to assist on my tasting journey and I think if I did use this method as a guide all of the time when I tried wine, I probably would get a fair, but basic idea of the game. Its just time and patience really and tuning into your senses.
The second tutorial I had a look at was 40 wine descriptors and what they mean.
My tasting tactic here was to work backwards from reading the label on the bottle of wine, hoping that a descriptor from the label might jump out on my taste buds. You know, if I knew what I was supposedly tasting. There are plenty of words to describe wine that I hadn't even considered such as leathery, minerally and jammy. I cant wait to taste a leather belt in my next wine glass. Who knew ha!!
I found this method was a rather helpful method in the tasting game, though some of the words were unfamiliar. Perhaps they are more familiar in America however, Im confident I could find plenty of 'aussie' equivalents out there. I even had a few 'oh yeah, you can taste that' moments. I will be using this method a lot more in the future that's for sure.
As for the Neds Red review for the blog. Was I able to pick out cherry hues in the end? Uh uh, no I wasn't. The feel of the wine and texture though were much easier to decipher and explain. I think a few of the pointers in each of the tutorials have stuck in my mind, but I think Ill be relying on the label at this stage for tasting notes.
I will definitely be having another few little goes at practicing some of the tasting tips. I am still on that mission to be able to decipher characteristics of wine on my own and then give a good, knowledgeable review of the wine.
Head over and check out the Wine Folly blog. Grab your favourite full bodied red and tell me how you went. In the mean time, Ill be continuing my wine tasting journey and studying lots of labels to learn all the lingo I can.
Could you taste the berries, the oak or cherry hues?
Can you tell what variety of wine you are tasting without having seen the label on the bottle?
So much to learn. So much fun to be had.
Thanks for visiting today
*(If you go to wine basics in one of the menu windows on the blog, you will find that a heap of different tutorials will come up and then you can go from there yourself.)