wine tasting

Wine tasting...such a snobbish thing to do!

Sniffing, swirling, sipping, spitting and then bursting out a few moans, head shakes or nods. Over-analyzing the hell out of a drink that is either tasty..or less tasty.

Wine tasting for me is fun. I'm not all for an in-depth-taste-analysis (I know too little, would like to know more though), but I like the conversation.
I do feel a little ridiculous every now and then, because I'm lost for the rights words to describe the encountered flavors. And I'm quite hesitant to just blurt out some words, as I don't want to be wrong. Some people might say: 'you can't be wrong',  but I would very much like to be able to identify certain (obvious) characteristics.

Last weekend my dad organised a wine tasting-session: he bought eight Merlots, all eight coming from the Languedoc. Their price varied between 4 and 10 euros, and they were bought at different stores: grocery - liquor - & department-store.

What was our goal?
Well... to identify the ones we liked and those we..liked less.

To aid us in this battle, we made use of a '20-point-scale'. We awarded the appearance, smell, taste and finish with a number of points for each quality, depending how much we liked it. We also noted down particular smells (or should I say aromas??), tastes and other 'observations'.

Was it hard? 
Well, I suppose so. Seeing I wasn't really able to identify specific characteristics. But it was 'easy' to identify which one we liked best, and funny to see our top 3s were really similar (we all had the same winner).

I'm particularly bad at smelling wine, I expressed several I'm-not-sure's and I-just-smell-red-wine's. I'm
hoping this is something I need to learn and not something I just can't because my nose doesn't work properly.
It was also quite difficult to award scores for each of the categories, it was the first time I awarded any numerical value to a wine. Whereas I usually just remember a wine that I liked, and I will buy it again.

Our tasting session was far from professional, but it was fun nonetheless! We will most certainly do a wine tasting session again soon but with a different grape (Chardonnay? Sauvignon Blanc?) Or with a different set-up:

  • Eight Cabernet Sauvignons from different areas around the world. 
  • Four wines and one dish - which one will be the most suitable partner?
  • One wine, different types of glasses. 
The next time I will bring a proper camera and note down more, hey, I'm still learning. 

After tasting and spitting, we felt we deserved a proper glass of wine. We chose the one we liked best, and drank it with lamb cutlets & roast potatoes.

Winning bottles:
La Tour des Dames - 6.70
Domaine des Planels - 5.85