Wine is a common drink in most parties and social events. But have you ever been to one party where others were discussing the wine they were taking? What were their likes and dislikes? Did you join the conversation? If not, why?
For a wine newbie, it may be difficult to distinguish between a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon? At times, you may even swallow more than you spit in a wine tasting exercise. But don’t worry! If you’re dedicated, you can become a wine connoisseur in less than a year.
Here are the five basic tips to becoming a wine connoisseur.
1. Develop Your Wine Palate
Do you know that wine is an acquired taste? Even the experts in the industry started with modest wines.
Experimenting with different types of wines accustoms you to its smell and taste. After taking five or so wines, your mouth will identify the different tastes between them. Make sure you swish the wine you taste around your mouth before swallowing.
Remember, developing your wine palate requires you to taste a wide variety of wines. You can join a wine tasting group for this.
2. Compare the Smell and Flavors
We all have different sensitivity when taking food: some cannot differentiate between flavors while others are sensitive to subtle flavors. The same can be said for wines. But don’t worry, sensibility comes with experience.
When tasting wine, play keen consideration to flavors and fragrances. For instance, the fragrance may reveal the specific grape variety: The Sauvignon Blanc is easily recognizable due to its gooseberry smell. As such, familiarizing yourself with the few typical aromas helps you identify the climate, grape variety, or the wine aging process.
As for flavors, our tongues are responsible for flavors. Not more than 25% of the population can be classified as hypersensitive. For the rest of us, we can improve our tasting skills through experience.
3. Read Extensively
You want to become a knowledgeable wine connoisseur, then read extensively. Currently, there are hundreds of books on wines. Some of these books focus on the fermentation process while others are table books full of different wine pictures.
Becoming a wine expert requires you to understand what people make, where they make it, and how they call the final product. A regional wine book may help clear your understanding of the topic. Check extensively before deciding on the right wine book to buy.
4. Understand the Tasting Customs
Becoming a wine expert extends beyond the simple fact of drinking a couple of sips. Rather, it starts with a visual examination of the wine, its viscosity, and specific color. As such, drinking the wine is the last step of this exercise.
Take your time, and remember, small sips help you identify the flavors with ease. Wine needs oxygen to completely deliver its taste. Don’t forget this simple fact.
5. Taste Wine with Food
At this point, you’re a 95 percent wine expert. You know a lot about wines, their smells, grapes and where they’re made. But that’s not all!
Here’s the beautiful part of becoming a wine connoisseur.
Learn how to pair the right wine to the right delicacy. Yes, you already know that white wine goes with white meat and seafood, red wine with red meat. Don’t limit yourself to this!
Experiment with the different types of wines with various foods to select your favorite combination. Remember, wine should only accompany the taste of your food, not overlap it.
Becoming a wine connoisseur is largely dependent on your commitment to the cause. For a determined person, it may take somewhere between three weeks to one month.