Wine is a beautiful and complex beverage, which reveals a new secret with every sip. Every time there is a glass of wine in front of us, we all want to taste it like an expert so that we can appreciate all its aspects. Also, every wine lover wants to know if the wine in their glass is worth their money. So here’s how to judge wine like an expert at restaurants, gatherings, wine tastings and even at your dinner table.

How To Judge Wine: Start With The 5S Method

From beginners to wine experts, the wine community uses the 5S technique for wine tasting, as it breaks down the routine into five neat steps. The first thing to do is to pour yourself a tasting pour. Keep in mind that a standard tasting pour is 75 ml and this is almost half of the regular serving pour (150 ml), which gives you more room to swirl the wine and aerate it. Now here’s what you should do

See: The appearance of a wine is an essential part of its overall harmony and adds to the pleasure of drinking. Tilt your glass and hold it at your eye level, now observe the basic colour of your wine. While the colour of a wine might reveal little about its quality, it offers an insight into its grape variety, origin and age. Also pay attention to its brightness and clarity as a clear and luminous wine with no unexpected particles is healthy.

Swirl: All wines have an aromatic bouquet, but some may be more muted than others. To release this bouquet, give your glass a quick swirl. This aerates the wine and allows oxygen in the air to interact with it, unlocking all the aromas.

Sniff: A wine’s nose reveals clues about its identity, origin and quality even before you taste it. A fine wine expresses character and clarity through aromas while an ordinary wine is unimpressive on the nose. Place your nose over the glass and give it a short sniff. Observe the intensity of the aromas and see if you can describe each one of them. Most young wines primarily have pleasant fruity and floral aromas. On the other hand, a fine wine that has been matured in a bottle or an oak barrel for some time will have complex aromas of coffee, caramel, leather, dried fruits, mushrooms, etc. Also look for faulty aromas like wet cardboard, vinegar, etc., which can indicate that the wine is not fit to drink.

Sip: When you taste a wine, it hits your palate with a mix of body, texture and flavour. A great wine always strikes a balance between all these elements but in different combinations. With your first sip, focus on the flavours of the wine- whether it feels light, medium or heavy-bodied on your tongue. Try to judge the texture of the wine- is it rough or velvety?

Savour: Once you have tasted the wine, you should now judge its quality by observing the balance, intensity and complexity of all the components. A wine that is pronounced and distinctive on your palate, with its flavours in harmony with all its other aspects is a clear winner.

Here are some additional tips to help you become a pro at judging wine:

*Always use an odour-free and well-lit room for tasting.

* Use a clean wine glass for tasting and make sure that it doesn’t contain any residual dirt, odour or scratches.

* Avoid eating foods with lingering tastes and smells before or while you taste a wine.

Some of the most esteemed and highly qualified wine experts in India are coming together to judge India Wine Awards 2023. To know more about the country’s biggest blind tasting event, click here.

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