The Basics: How To Taste Wine

15 04 2011

Everybody knows how to taste wine on some level, and most people kicking back with a glass after work or with dinner are probably perfectly happy relaxing with their vino without contaminating the experience with any kind of analytical process.  Totally fair and understandable.  But if you’re interested in taking the next step with your appreciation of wine, it really starts with being able to pick out individual components of a wine, knowing the main characteristics of a particular grape or region, and being able to tell different wines apart.  To do any of this, tasting your wine isn’t enough; you need to TASTE your wine.  Here’s a simplified way how to do it. Read the rest of this entry »


The Basics: Do Wine Glasses Matter?

4 04 2011

The short answer:  yes.  The slightly less short answer:  wine glasses do matter, but as long as yours meet a few simple criteria, they will serve your purposes just fine.  It is very easy to get carried away with the finer points of matching a wine to a particular glass — if you don’t believe me, check out this site from the world’s top wine glass maker, Riedel, which showcases multiple unique glasses designed specifically for particular varietals (i.e. Gewurztraminer), regions (i.e. Paulliac, in Bordeaux, France), ripeness levels (i.e. Beerenauslese, a German designation), quality levels (i.e. Beaujolais Cru, higher-end Beaujolais from Burgundy, France) and even non-table-wines (i.e. Cognac, Port).  While this hyper-specific wine/glass matching might pay dividends for a select few wine experts, it is horrendously impractical for the rest of us and likely won’t result in any clearer appreciation of the underlying wine.  However, for anyone enjoying a drink of wine, your glass will help rather than hinder your drinking pleasure if it fits within these guidelines: Read the rest of this entry »

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