Ahhh... the art and science of wine tasting. Well, it doesn’t have to be pretentious, especially here in BC! Follow these simple tips to get the most of our your sips.
Tip the glass and stare before you smell or sip. As they age, red wines display hints of reddish-brown at the edges and whites become more golden; contributing to a fuller taste.
The nose knows. The tongue can only detect four flavours, while the nose can distinguish among thousands. Gently swirl the wine in its glass to vaporize the alcohol and release the aroma of the wine.
What do you smell? Sage, clover, apricot, plum or blueberries?
The tip of the tongue senses sweetness. The back, bitterness. And the sides detect acidity. Take a small amount of the wine in your mouth and swirl it around to taste the complexity of its character. Are you still tasting it ten seconds later? Did the taste change?
"Feel" is the touch of the wine on your tongue. Is it rich, full, lean or bubbly? Does it tingle at the edges? Tannins, for example, feel dry on the tongue; like biting into a grape seed or drinking a cup of over-steeped black tea.
The more you spit, the more you can sip and sample. And it’s the perfectly proper thing to do. It’s also appropriate to pour the rest of the glass into the bucket the winery provides.
A couple of crackers will cleanse the palate and clear the way for the next experience.
Wine and winding roads don’t go together. All that tasting can add up to trouble. If your hand is holding the glass, make sure a designated driver is holding the wheel.
Book in advance for tours and tastings, especially if you’re travelling in a group. Some wineries are seasonal, others have irregular hours and they all want you to enjoy your visit.
Wine can spoil and boil over in a hot trunk. Bring along a cooler to make sure the wine you like at the tasting is the wine you take home.
Many wineries have restaurants – take advantage of one to enjoy a spectacular meal. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself type, bring along a picnic lunch. Some wineries have picnic areas – buy a bottle of wine and enjoy the view.
Whether you are touring some of BC’s best wineries or simply sipping at home, remember to savour the moment and enjoy the fruits of our labour!