What is Wine Sensory?
In essence, Wine Sensory is the formal evaluation of the flavors, aromas and observed characteristics of wine. During a wine tasting, you may ask yourself “what makes a wine earthy?” or “how do I know if a wine is oaky?” Having the knowledge to pinpoint these unique characteristics can help you appreciate and interact with wine in a totally new way and can make a wine tasting experience even more enjoyable – as if you needed a reason!
During a Wine Tasting, you are using every one of your senses to interpret the wine in a way that is meaningful to your own palate and experience.
The simplest way to tune into your senses during a wine tasting can be explained through the "Five S’s of Wine Tasting":
Hold your glass up to the light and observe the color and clarity of the wine.
Hold your wine in front of you or on a flat surface and rotate the glass to get the wine moving. Take notice of the "legs" of the wine you see traveling down the sides of your glass - this is an indicator of the alcohol level of a wine.
Swirling helps to release the aromas; take a deep breath with your nose in the glass. What does the smell of the wine make you think of? Smell it a second time to really let it sink in.
4. SIP / SWISH
Take a small sip and gently swish the wine in your mouth - this allows your tongue to really soak in the wine's flavor and feel the sensation of the body or "dryness" of the wine in your mouth. Have another sip and think about the flavors you know that you could associate with "notes" in the wine.
The best part! Notice the lingering finish of the wine as you turn your attention to your next taste!
So throughout the wine tasting process, you've used your sense of Sight, Smell, Taste, Feel, and while more of a stretch - the last sense, Hearing - is part of the whole experience as you discuss what you do or don't enjoy about the wines you're tasting with your friends!
One of our favorite tools to use during a wine tasting is a wine sensory (or wine aroma) wheel. It breaks down flavor profiles and aromas into categories, helping you to identify just what it is that you are smelling and tasting in that wine you love. For example, many people pick up the taste of apple in a Riesling, or the smell of buttered toast in a well-oaked wine. The wine sensory wheel is a great guide to use during your tasting experience! Click the image to view full size.
You can dive even deeper into the world of wine and wine tasting at our first Wine 101 this Friday (Oct. 28)! Designed to enhance the experience for all levels of tasters, you’ll tune into your senses to identify the aroma and flavors of the wines you're tasting under the Instruction of our Tasting Room Manager, Ava. It’s the perfect opportunity to have some fun and expand your wine tasting know-how!
Check out the video below for more, or CLICK HERE for tickets and course details!