Grapes to represent Fairtrade Wine from The Co-operative
October 14, 2015

Why wine tastes like…

Even someone with a passing interest in wine would probably be able to name around five different types, but with each different type, comes a different taste. This blog brings together some interesting facts to explain why wine tastes the way it does.

It’s partly to do with how wine is made…

Wine is the fermented juice of freshly squished grapes, our Fairtrade producers make sure it’s quality fruit all the way. You can’t make great wine from bad grapes.

It has something to do with how it’s served…

When you pour the wine check it’s clear and bright, if it’s cloudy and dull there’s a problem – return it. If you’ve selected a red it really helps if you decant first (if haven’t got a decanter, use anything that holds a bottle and the air can get to the wine) for a couple of hours! This opens out the fruit flavours and smooths out the structure.

There’s clues in the colour…

Wine in a wine glassThis next fact is all about the science… in terms of colour a white wine will sit somewhere between almost clear tinged with green hues, to all the way through to autumnal  oranges. Reds not surprisingly sit between delicate red through to inky purple. The colour of your wine gives a massive clue as to what it will taste like, if your white has green hues it will taste of green fruit, if your red is dark purple it will taste of dark red/purple fruit. The lighter the colour – the lighter the flavour!

There’s clues in the compounds…

A little  more science, sorry… if your white wine tastes of peaches, it’s because the chemical compounds that make peaches taste like peaches are in the wine. Lots of chemical reactions take place during fermentation and make the humble grape taste like the world’s biggest fruit bowl!

Here are five quick tips, 5 handy S’s, that brings all this together:
SEE the wine, is the colour light & elegant or dark & brooding?
SWIRL the wine, this really helps release the flavour of the wine and allows you to…
SNIFF the wine, your nose is infinitely more sensitive to flavour nuances in wine and food than your mouth.
SLURP the wine, (this gets a little tricky but practice makes perfect – definitely in private!) capture a small sip of wine in your mouth, tilt your head slightly forward, purse your lips like your sucking in through a straw and then suck in air, making the most noise possible! To prove how much work your nose does in terms of tasting, hold your nose and take a sip of wine, swallow it then release and see what happens.
SENSATIONS describe the wine, was it fizzy, elegant / a bit of a bruiser, fruity / refreshing etc.? Get creative in your descriptions and above all enjoy it!

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