There’s a lot of info about wine tasting for beginners on this site, from how to host one to where to find bargains. But not everyone is happy having to turn on the computer and sifting through a website to find what you’re looking for. Sometimes you just want to have the information at your finger tips. If you’re the type that likes to learn about wine, but can’t always settle for surfing the web and reading lots of wine articles then perhaps the Dummies can help. That’s right, I’m talking about Wine Tasting For Dummies.
Here’s a link to the book: Wine For Dummies
Now, don’t be put off by the name. It has nothing to do with your level of intelligence. Like all of the Dummies books, it’s merely an easy guide for the inexperienced. However, if you have an issue with someone seeing you buy this book in person, buying it online is the easiest answer. You can save face and still learn about wine right in the privacy of your own home.
But in all honesty, there’s nothing really exceptional to know about attending wine tasting events. I’ve held several tastings, from private functions to great big corporate wine tastings and almost all of them have been informal without all of the to-do and stuffiness associated with them.
Basically, once your host hands you a glass all you do is check the wine’s appearance first, note depth of color and hue, swirl the wine in your glass to let the aromas out and take a big sniff. Try to pick out a few aromas that you recognize and then sip the wine. Don’t swallow, just take it into your mouth and swish it around. Try to pick out some flavors: peach, strawberry, cigar box, smoke, cherry, anything that comes to mind. There is no wrong answer. Then swallow and see how long the flavor lasts on your tongue. If it’s gone immediately, the wine has a short or no finish. If it lingers, your wine has a nice long finish. That’s your wine tasting guide in a nutshell.
One point to take into consideration: Everyone’s first instinct is to swallow the wine. That’s fine, unless you are tasting more than a handful. In that case, spit. If you don’t, you’ll get drunk for one thing. But you’ll also compromise the flavor and aroma profiles of other wines yet to be tasted.
Sometimes the host provides wine tasting cards to keep notes on. These are great for keeping track of wines you like and dislike. Go to as many tastings as you can and save your notes. Put them in a wine tasting journal and find some label removers. Put the labels in your journal and now you have an image to place with a name. There’s so much to learn about wine at every tasting, it really is the best way to get to know wine up close and personal.
But if you are set on the techniques of approach, I highly recommend Wine Tasting For Dummies. It’s a no nonsense guide that will get you pointed in the right direction.