The systematic approach, though perhaps inferring a tedious and methodical way of looking at wine, will, once the technique has been mastered, give you the greatest pleasure and appreciation of wine. It is simply a way of training your senses to get the most out of wine. At the same time this approach helps you to analyse various aspects of the wine and its quality.
We use our senses of sight, smell and taste to appreciate the wine in the glass. Do not expect to be able to identify the origin of the wine, its vintage or varietal content by the end of this session. You will, however be able to discern the differences in wine and put in place the building blocks necessary to analyse acidity, flavour profiles, alcohol, oak influence and tannin. You will be on the way to tasting like a professional.
The table overleaf shows how wine can be assessed. Any assessment of wine will look at 3 main areas. Firstly we study the condition of the wine, healthy or faulty, secondly the flavour and structure of the wine and finally the quality and maturity of the wine.
We check the appearance of the wine which can gives clues as the wine’s age, its likely intensity and, to a degree, the type of variety used, wine making influences and its sweetness.
WHAT ELSE WILL I LEARN?
The smell of a wine gives many clues as to the grape variety, its origin, age and wine making influences. In fact one Australian wine judge believes that you can tell 90% of the influences upon a wine simply through its aroma.
The palate will also yield up various flavours but more importantly will give you the “taste” or structure of the wine. The combination of these elements will allow the taster to assess the quality of the wine.The quality of an individual wine can be a contentious issue with one taster believing a wine to be of great class and distinction whilst another thinking that the wine is poor.
This can arise due to cultural differences in what is expected of the wine or personal taste. The aim of the systematic approach is to assess quality components such a depth of flavour, complexity, balance, elegance, length and integration so as to arrive at an objective decision as to the wine’s quality.
As we go through the course you will find wines that you like and probably be surprised by some. Whatever your likes and dislikes you will have a grasp of why some wines appeal and others do not and enjoy your wines all the more.