Everything on this page will be about wine and how one can learn the finer details of winemaking, as explained by Bennett Kireker. His New York wine club holds regular tasting events for club members. He entertains inquiries from all individuals, regardless of their experience (or lack thereof) on wine tasting.
If you’ve never been to a wine-tasting event before, it’s normal to think it strange that a group of individuals should make faces, spit, and sniff their wine glass before taking a small sip. It’s normal to wonder what all the fuss and ritual is about; it’s just wine, after all. However, for people like Bennett Kireker and other wine enthusiasts, there’s always more to wine than simply enjoying a glass.
To make wine-tasting easier to understand, you can think of it as a game; a game of identifying smells and flavors—a game of impressions. How well you are able to identify these, of course, depends on your experience and wine vocabulary. With the latter, it is something you build as you go along, getting a taste of more and more wine and its numerous permutations. You may be able to express your experience of wine by borrowing common descriptive words such as complex and balanced. However, it is much more fun to arrive at words you yourself have thought of.
How to taste wine
First, sight. An aspiring wine enthusiast should train his or her eyes to evaluate the color and consistency of the wine. For purposes of keeping this blog entry as an introductory article on wine-tasting, studying color and consistency of the wine basically reveals its age and quality.
Though wine may appear to be only one color in your glass, it is actually a range of colors, which will be better seen from tilted and side views. Swirling the wine is also necessary, to look out for “tears” or “legs.” More about this will be discussed in another post.
Second, smell. Just as how wine is composed of a range of colors; this beverage also possesses a wide range of aromas. Some are so strong that the odor shoots right up your nose, while others are faint and subtle, with an aroma that can barely last for a few minutes. Remember that wine isn’t just about grapes. It is also about the oak barrels and the accompanying flavors of its source. That said, it is completely normal to get a sniff of earth or mineral. Again, more about smell will be discussed in another blog entry.
Last but not least, taste. The first step of tasting is to take a small sip and suck on it, as if “pulling” it with a straw. This is to let the wine circulate in your mouth, and have the flavors be introduced to you more deliberately. Beginners are much more likely to point out familiar tastes such as vanilla and fruity notes at first, but as they get sharper and more observant, the true fun of wine-tasting begins!
For more wine tasting tips by Bennett Kireker and his New York wine club, stay tuned to this page.