Taste starts in your nose
[two-columns]It might seem like stating the obvious, however when it comes to enjoying wine it is not simply a case of knocking back what’s in your glass. There is an (easily adopted) art to discovering how to taste wine. The skill to inhale and denote the subtle shades of wine aromas is key to truly tasting. Tips include holding your nose while you swallow some wine and you will find the majority of the flavour is muted and your nose becomes the key to unlocking your palate. “Your nose holds the key when it comes to unlocking undiscovered aromas and appreciating your wine before it reaches your taste buds” Master the art of giving wine a good sniff and you will be able to isolate flavour and if you really want to get to the bottom of discovering all the wonders of wine it pays to be dedicated. When you find yourself with a glass of wine in hand try and get into the habit of pausing to focus your attention on the wine’s appearance, fragrance, flavour and finish. We hear about the need for wines to breath but before you can truly savour your selected tipple you need to use your noodle, or nose to be precise and inhale. Your hooter holds the key when it comes to unlocking undiscovered aromas and appreciating your wine before it reaches your taste buds. Your sense of smell plays a significant part in appreciating the nuances of wine from the start. You may well savour flavours of your wine with your tongue, however you experience flavour via your nose. Sniffing a wine brings the aromas in contact with the smell centre, which is one square inch in size and located at the top of the nasal cavity behind the eyes. Smelling wine helps you detect a range of things about the wine including how old it is, fruit characteristics, grape variety to name a few.
As previously pointed out, the shape of the wine glass you use alters the speed and concentration that your nose perceives the wine entering your mouth and so the way you actually perceive its flavour. Many of us will have observed someone order a bottle of wine, seen some poured into a glass and the recipient raise the glass give it a swirl and smell the contents. There is a lot that can be discovered in a wine when it comes to scent and it just so happens this practice is one of the most important elements when it comes to discovering wines you like most and everyone’s palate is unique to them. When we taste something we are detecting one or a combination of sweet, salty, sour, bitter however when it comes to all other flavours you might be surprised to discover they are detected by your sense of smell and this makes up the majority of what we enjoy about our favourite food and drinks, wine included. There are numerous scents you can discover in a wine which can help determine which grape variety was used, where it was grown, if it was aged in wood or not. With some practice, and let’s face it who needs an excuse to reach for the rack, you can hone your senses to learn wines you naturally favour most. When smelling a wine there are four main categories to look at: Fruit, Earth, Wood and Other The aforementioned swirling helps to aerate the wine and release its aromas. Swirling tips include placing your glass flat on a table and move your hand in a fashion as if you were outlining small circles with the base. Then stick your nose in the glass and take a substantial sniff. To help hone your developing smelling skills why not set yourself mini challenges and try and identify a couple of fruits and other aromas before the all important sampling![/two-columns]