We all have those friends that are total wine freaks and getting invited to one of their wine tasing events leads to a whole evening of stress - how do you properly hold the glass? Why do they stick their noses into the glass? Why the hell are they spitting?! We've been there. Which is why we're here to explain all the strange behaviours and help you look like a wine tasting pro.
BEHIND THE BEHAVIOUR
The behaviour around wine drinking can be very strange, but there is a reason behind the gestures and quirks. Let's go through a wine tasting step by step.
The opening of the bottle is usually celebrated (and rightly so). And if the bottle is sealed with a natural cork, the right tool - wine opener - is very necessary. A professional corkscrew typically has a small knife to cut the foil capsule over the cork. Then screw in the worm (the spiral part) into the cork and pull it out. Next, you might wonder: "why are they examining and sniffing the cork?". Because natural cork can actually have a big impact on the wine. If the cork is bad or not cleaned properly, the tones can be off or the entire wine itself can be spoiled. So smelling and examining the cork can reveal whether it has impacted the wine. But be careful, the cork only indicates so much so sometimes you'll only discover the unpleasant, musty bad cork when you sniff the wine in the glass, or even with the first sip.
For those that aren't wine nerds: smell the cork, examine, and nod.
LET THE GLASS SWIRL
As soon as the wine is poured into the glass, the spectacle continues. We've all seen the effortlessly cool guy who can swing the glass casually and get the wine swirling perfectly. But this behaviour also has an extremely logical and practical explanation! Through the swirling movement, you're adding air and the wine is distributed over a large area on the inner glass wall. Which is beneficial to the next step - if you stick your nose into the glass immediately after swirling, you'll smell a lot more. All the deliciously good aromas are released by the movement and what's left on the walls of the wine glass reveal even more.
For the beginners: If you have problems swinging the glass artfully without staining your clothes, simply place the glass on the table and move it in a small circle on the tabletop. Doesn't look as cool, but it gets the job done.
Smell and taste are incredibly linked so when the for a sip of wine comes right after smelling you'll get even more flavour. Here you'll want to take a small sip, move it around to let it touch as much of your mouth as possible, that extra movement will help you pick more fragrance and taste of the wine. You can let the wine flow gently and quietly through your mouth or acoustically take your co-tasters on the journey with you by gargling loudly. Everyone has their own style so you do you.
THE VITAL QUESTION: TO SPIT OR SWALLOW?
If there is a spit bucket on the table - a small container for pouring or spitting out wine - you can be sure you're probably in the presence of pretty fancy wine. And while the practice sounds revolting, if you're trying a lot of wines in a short time, this spit bucket can be pretty helpful. BUT if you swallow we can pretty much guarantee the wine will get even better with every sip. Because spitting can help you stay focused/sober longer to be able to try more wine. This is definitely a personal preference and probably depends on the group your with - because being the only spitter is, well, awkward...
DON'T WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT THE THEATRE
At the end of the day, don't forget that underneath all this theatre, why you've gotten together and why you're tasting the wines. Because to be honest, it's really not about the detailed analysis and assessment of the wines, but about having a nice evening and exploring a variety of wines. Therefore, the fun should be in the foreground and the spit bucket maybe more in the background... So the next time you have a glass of wine, try it out, what difference it makes to let the glass spin in circles? Or if you obnoxiously gargle the wine? And since the best way to learn about wine is by tasting it for yourself, we developed our Wine Mini 12 Pack - A set with 12 different wines in a 100ml mini format, complete with notes and tasting instructions. Perfect for a fun evening of wine tasting, with or without the spit bucket.
THE WINE MINI 12 PACK
You can read a lot about wine, but the best way to learn about wine is by tasting it for yourself. The more wines you try, the more you‘ll know! Which is why we developed our Wine Mini 12 Pack. A set with 12 different wines in a 100ml mini format, which have been carefully selected to match the winter wine moments – whether it’s a cozy evening on the sofa, a get-together with friends, or just day drinking on the weekend. Taste them all and find your new favourite wines for the season!
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