Summer is right around the corner and to welcome the warm weather we’re cracking open summer sippers from Whole Foods Market ®. On Thursday, June 27, we’ll be tweeting along with Whole Foods Market (#WFMWine on Twitter) from 7pm-8pm CDT.Pick up these bottles from your local Whole Foods Market and join in the fun.
Mont Gravet Cotes de Gascogne
Smooth oval-shaped pebbles (gravet) pepper the hillsides near Toulouse, France, creating ideal conditions for these lovely colombard grapes.
Lamatum Ribera del Duero Crianza
Hot summer winds whistle across Spain’s high Ribera del Duero plains, emphasizing the fruitiness of these tempranillo grapes.
Chateau Grand Claret Cotes de Bordeaux
The rolling banks of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers in Bordeaux are home to this wonderful Red blend.
Pizzalato Moscato Dolce
This celebratory offering from Treviso, Italy features organic grapes, hand-picked early for maximum vibrance and youthful acidity.
Read on for tips on how to taste wine like a pro excerpted from Head Thirsty Girl, Leslie Sbrocco’s book, Wine For Women:
As a professional wine taster, I’m often asked how I can possibly spit out all that delicious wine. Spitting allows you to get the impression of the wine without the alcohol, which is a necessity since I regularly taste between 50 to100 wines per week.Spitting or swallowing is actually the last part of the tasting process, which begins when you pick up the glass.
See: Look at the color and clarity of a wine, preferably holding the glass over a white piece of paper or tablecloth. Whites should be clear, not cloudy, from pale straw color to gold, depending on the wine. Color will also tell you things about how the wine is made and its age. For example, a wine that has been in oak barrels (as many Chardonnays are) will be more gold in color than whites aged in steel tanks. An older white wine will look darker than a younger white wine.
Swirl: Do you know why we swirl? Technically to release the aromas and fruity esters of the wine, but all we’re really doing is making the wine comfortable in the glass.
Smell: Swirling stirs the wine up and allows it to coat the sides of the glass so you can smell the wine better. Smelling a wine is the most important part of wine tasting because you can detect thousands of smells but only four tastes. Take a good long sniff and ask yourself what you smell – fruits, veggies, flowers, butter, spices, herbs? Let your mind go wild. (Note: Aroma is used to describe the qualities of most young wines, while bouquet refers to the combination of smells developed after bottle aging.)
Sip: Take a sip and swish it around in your mouth. This coats your mouth with the wine, much like swirling does in the glass, and allows you to assess the wine better. Again, ask yourself questions about the aromas and flavors then think about the way the wine feels in your mouth:
- Is it light, medium, or full-bodied? (Look at the alcohol content on the label for a clue. Higher alcohol wines, around 13-14 percent or more, have a fuller body and heavier impression in your mouth than light to medium-bodied wines with alcohol levels in the 8 to 12 percent range.)
- Does it feel smooth or taste tart?
- Do you taste sweetness?
- Is there a pleasant, lingering aftertaste (called the finish)?
Most importantly, do you like the wine? If you can’t figure it out, I’m sure you need another sip, then another, then another….Did you know?
It’s ironic that we talk about the “taste” of wine and call it “wine tasting” when in actuality we only taste five things: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and the savory taste known as umami. Referring to a wine’s overall “taste” generally means a combination of what you smell, taste, and feel.
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