ABC’s of Wine Tasting

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I have been very busy this past Winter and Spring with wine tastings, and people are always a little nervous for their first wine tasting.  I think they may be nervous that they won’t be able to identify the nuances of the wine, and you know what?  That’s OK!!  Here’s what I tell people at the beginning of a wine tasting.

  1.  This is your wine tasting – I am only here to facilitate and answer questions.  Most people have lots of questions about wine, and they might be a little nervous to be the first to raise their hands.  I find that once the first question has been asked, that’s like permission for others to speak up, share their comments and ask lots questions.  It’s the feedback from the group that makes a great wine tasting.

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2.  A Wine Tasting Allows You To Try Different Wines

In my opinion, the #1 benefit of a wine tasting is to venture outside of your comfort zone and try new wines.  We all know wine is not cheap, especially here in Canada.  Most people won’t spend $30 on a red wine, if they only drink white wine, and vice versa.  A wine tasting allows you to try new styles of wine and wine at different price points at a fraction of the cost.

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How it’s done…

  • First, examine the wine in the glass. How does light filter through the wine? Is it deep in color? The darker the red, the more time it has spent on the skins, and if it’s a white, it may be a reflection of the age of the wine.
  • Then, smell the wine and consider how the aroma compares to your favorite wine. Is it fruity or floral? Does it have a sharp or tangy scent?
  • Finally, the taster takes a sip of the wine and evaluates how it feels and tastes. Does it seem rich?  Does it feel heavy in the mouth?  Is it light and crisp?
  • After swallowing the wine, the taster considers the aftertaste. Does the flavor linger? Does it change over time?
  • And most importantly, do you like the wine.  If not, no problem. You paud for two ounces, not the entire bottle.  If you do like wine, take a picture! Easiest way to remember it when you go to buy it.

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My wine of the week…

Hidden Bench Blend

Thirty Bench is a winery in the Niagara region of Ontario, right here in Canada.  They specialize in small lot wines with a tremendous amount of detail to quality wine.  This winemaker’s blend was fantastic, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  It is full-bodied with good tannins and hints of sweet oak.  Great beef wine, and would go very well with lamb or hearty stews as well.

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If you have any questions regarding a wine tasting, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Till next week, Cheers


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