Wine Tasting Tips to make you look like a Pro on your weekend away
o you’ve booked yourself a weekend away in wine country, you can’t wait to leave work and get your hands on some decent wine and hash tag til your mates are green with envy.
You arrive in the land of posh juice, you can literally feel the country air and those little grapes tingle with anticipation. You don your best/smartest/casual/hip/Ihavemoney outfit and go with confidence to the first cellar door.
However, as you walk in you realise your confidence has stayed in the car and is playing candy crush without you. The world of wine suddenly seems so unknown and you hope to god that the person wielding a wine bottle doesn’t ask you to discuss the difference between Chablis or a Chardonnay let alone talk about Gewürz (whaaat?) traminer.
Don’t worry the gap isn’t as large as you may think. Here are 6 things to help you on the way.
1. How’s your palate?
There’s nothing quite like a battle within your mouth between wine and toothpaste.
“Hmm I’m getting mint, spearmint, chalk, spice and a whole bunch of weird shit happening in there”.
Advice: Drag your sorry arse out of bed earlier and do your cleaning well before you head to a winery. Otherwise this may help; Unsalted (and white) crackers/white (flavorless) bread and a glass of water, soda water is great. The bready related stuff absorbs, and the water with bubbles gives your tongue a good scrubbing.
2. Sniff, swirl, sip
Yep, that’s the order people. Get your nose in there, don’t be shy!
3. The Spit
Don’t wear white on your first try. If you’re the driver this is a great way to still enjoy yourself whilst being able to leave your police-eyelash-batting at home. Wine Folly have done a great job explaining how to do it in this article. Check you’ve got the spittoon handy, take a medium sip, swirl it around your mouth so it’s coating your tongue (it’s okay to look like you’re doing your mouthwash routine, but don’t focus so much on the teeth), now spit. Try not to dribble, but don’t be embarrassed if you do, every good spitter before you has had the same dilemma(!).
4. Do you like ze wine or don’t you like ze wine?
So do you like it or not? If you’re a beginner try not to get bogged down in technical terms or words that will make you sound pompous, you may find yourself swimming in a sea of unknown wine lingo where no one can save you. This is not what it’s about for you right now. Could you enjoy this wine in the privacy of your own home/Toyota Camry/bathtub or do you want to water the plants with it?
5. They don’t bite
Don’t be afraid to ask the blessed person with the open wine bottle questions. Generally they have a ridiculous amount of knowledge and no question is too silly, trust me they’ve heard it all before. Pretending to be something you’re not is only the silliest thing.
6. Be kind to the giver of free stuff!
My friend, you are getting free stuff. The nice winemaker wants you to try his product before you buy. Be kind and diplomatic if you don’t like it. And if you don’t want to buy anything, help them out by posting something nice on social media about them. And the world rotates again for another day.