One of the very first blog articles I ever wrote was on our wine tasting skills, or lack thereof. In that article, I made suggestions for how to improve our wine tasting skills. A lot of the focus was on paying more attention. One of the reasons we’re not very good at wine tasting is that we’re not very good at tasting much of anything. We go a million miles a minute and barely take notice of what we’re consuming. So step #1 is to slow down and really take notice of the tasting experience. In my article, I talked about another critical step being to use the famous aroma wheel to help come up with descriptive words for what we’re smelling and tasting. Half of the battle is to describe our experience.
Today I wanted to do a little bit of research to see if there are any new techniques that people have come up with to help us improve our wine tasting skills.
Turning to Wine Folly for Improving Our Wine Tasting Skills
- Slow Down. This is in line with what I talked about at the beginning. Puckette goes further by saying, “it takes time to determine the nuances of a wine and our own brains achieve a higher level of analytical thinking when we slow down.”
- Look and Smell. Then Taste. According to Puckett, “The look is not as important as the smell, however both play a large roll in our perception of a wine before it even touches our lips.”
- Visualize and Isolate Flavors. Here, Puckette suggests closing your eyes and really visualizing what you’re experiencing.
- Identify Flavors and Move On. Puckette advises us not to get hung up on a single flavor. Acknowledge it, and then look for other flavors.
- Pay Attention to Texture and Body. Puckette wants to make sure we experience more than just the fruit flavors.
- Build a Wine Memory. “Picking out the key points of a wine helps to build a taste memory. Your working wine memory is something you can use to refer to when tasting new wines and finding new favorites.”
Turning to a Few Other Experts for Help
California Wine Advisor recommends visiting produce sections. “Be that weird person that sniffs all of the perishables. How will you ever call overripe pomegranate or wild arugula on a wine if you don’t know what they smell like? Once you build your smelling vocabulary, your memory recall will become second nature and you’ll spout off descriptors when dipping your nose into a wine glass.”
In Vogue’s article on how to train your palate, they have the best advice ever: “Drink, Drink, and Drink More. Ultimately, the only foolproof way to develop your palate is to taste wine as often as possible.”
I hope these tips for improving your wine tasting skills are helpful.
If you have ideas that have worked for you, please share them with us. Thanks.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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