Towards Becoming a Legitimate Wine Taster: Training Your Wine Palate

“Is this a good bottle of wine?”

It might be a simple question for most people, but wine lovers will think of it as a serious query — one that will move them into exploring aromas, flavours, and colours. For years, the idea of having a ‘wine palate’ is one met with serious debate; most argue whether it is innate or learned.

Wine experts from The Barn Pub & Restaurant say that your experience with certain smells and tastes develops your wine palate and allows you to pick out the best ones from the average.

Sniff for a Foretaste

As you know, flavours are largely influenced by your sense of smell. This is why important as it may be to train your mouth for flavours, you are also making your olfactory senses familiar to certain aromas. A wine’s aroma tells a great deal about its quality and unique characteristics.

Before using your mouth to determine textures and taste flavours, take in the wine’s aroma and identify delicate nuances. Remember to swirl the glass, as this improves the liquor’s natural smells.

Care to Compare

Taste two liquors of the same colour. Comparing will help determine the unique characteristics of each. Chances are you will find one that is more intense and the other fruitier. You will also find one that has a longer finish, meaning the sensations and taste of the wine remain even after you swallow. A long finish usually means the wine is of higher quality.

Swirl in the Aroma Wheel

It is likely you will smell something familiar when evaluating wine, and it is often difficult to describe a certain scent if you do not have a visual reference. What you need is the aroma wheel, a tool that lists common wine aromas from general to specific.

For instance, if you think of the wine as fruity, the wheel will help you tell if it is citrusy, dried or tropical. If it is citrusy, the wheel will suggest lemon or grapefruit. With the help of the aroma wheel, you’ll be able to describe aromas more easily, and therefore judge the quality of wine better.

Use these strategies to develop your wine palate. The next time someone asks you if the wine tastes good, you can give them an answer that goes beyond a simple yes or no.

3 Comments on Towards Becoming a Legitimate Wine Taster: Training Your Wine Palate

  1. Corey J. Lindsey | July 23, 2015 at 5:17 am | Reply

    I agree with everything, but there’s one thing lacking here. Taking note of your own descriptions. Yes, aroma wheel helps in remembering impressions, but your own experiences matter more. I suggest you guys keep a diary of liquors you’ve tried… I’ve done this practice for years now, and it helps me remember.

  2. Donna R. Crawford | July 23, 2015 at 6:09 am | Reply

    you’re taking out the fun in tasting wine… forget textures, aromas or flavours! just drink and be merry! that’s the mantra!

  3. Michele S. Meyers | July 23, 2015 at 6:39 am | Reply

    i’m so excited for this wine-tasting event we have at our company this week!!!!! ive done some research and pre-tasting last weekend and i cant wait to talk about aromas and textures with my colleagues!

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