Oenologie - Comment savoir si un vin est bon à la dégustation - Les Grappes

How do you know if a wine is good for tasting?

Are you one of those people who never know what to say to the waiter at the restaurant who asks for your approval before serving the wine to your loved ones? Here's an article that's made for you! We offer you some tips on how to learn how to taste a wine and how to know if it is good for tasting. Of course you'll need a little practice before you can impress the audience, but that's not the hardest part of the job! ????

Setting the scene

You want to learn how to tell if a wine is good to taste: this implies that you have to differentiate between bad wine and wine you don't like. It is therefore necessary to be objective. Of course, this does not exclude the possibility that you may not like what others consider to be good wine. Also, you have to mobilize all your senses, with of course a predilection for taste. Indeed, to be willing to appreciate a wine, you must not have consumed any food with a strong taste before tasting it. Once you are ready to taste, you can start following my next steps: the tasting first goes through the visual, then it becomes olfactory and finally gustative.

The first approach to tasting: The visual

A quality wine will regularly have an intense and brilliant colour. The colour of the wine is also an indicator of its age: for a red wine, the more the tint tends towards a brick-orange red, the older the vintage will be; if it is clear and has a violet colour, it is younger. Attention the color varies essentially also thanks to the type of vines used. The anthocyanins (the pigments that give the colour) are found in the skin of the grape. As far as white wine is concerned, the older it gets, the more it tends towards golden yellow. It is up to you to judge whether the wine would have deserved to spend more time in the cellar.

The importance of the nose

Wine can also be tasted through its smell, you can start to judge it only by the fragrances it gives off.

Lean over your glass and breathe in: you get your first impression "the first nose". You can already, if the wine is open enough, distinguish certain aromas (floral, mineral, vegetal...); If you don't, you will be able to taste it.If you can't detect any aromas, the wine can be said to be "closed", it should then be left to air. if Then, after stirring your glass so that the aromas come out (the "second nose"), you can smell again and try to identify the aromas that come out of it. These can be spicy, floral, fruity... You must concentrate on the variety of these aromas contained in the wine. The aromas felt can be confirmed during tasting: the complexity of a wine is part of its qualities and its balance. It must blend the flavours and nuances of aromas.

The secret of wine balance

Then comes the moment when you taste the wine. To be considered good, a wine must be balanced. During the first (alcoholic) fermentation in the winemaking process, the sugars contained in the grapes are transformed into alcohol. It is therefore necessary to carefully control this stage in the production process in order not to have a wine that is too alcoholic or sweet at the end. The winemakers therefore work on the balance between sugar, fruit and acidity to keep the product fresh.

For white wines it is different, there are different styles of white wines recognizable according to the amount of sugars contained: Dry, semi-dry, sweet, mellow, syrupy. In all cases, the balance between sugar and acidity is always sought; neither of the two must take precedence over the other in order to maintain harmony in the mouth.

Small trick in addition!

A wine is also characterised by its length in the mouth, which is counted in "caudalies": one caudalie = one second. Indeed when you swallow or spit out the wine, the aromas can remain in the mouth; this is called length. This is based solely on its aromas, volume and intensity. The average for quality wines is between 3 and 9 Caudalies. For your information, a very good wine can go up to 20 Caudalies.

Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky (for Les Grappes)


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