If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I am in strong favor of tasting as many wines as you can get your hands on. My goal is to make you all wine connoisseurs and one of the requirements for that is to have you get as much knowledge of different wines as you can. The best way to do that is by exploring and tasting as many different types of wines as you can.
What Order Should I Taste Wines?
The actual order you taste wines in is entirely up to you. It is fairly common to taste white wines first then work your way into reds. But this process may depend on how many wines you are trying. If you are tasting a lot of reds your palate has a tendency to become jaded or tired. Your tongue will have the tendency to get overly dry, which will affect your ability to taste and judge the wine profile. This condition might speak to having your reds first and your whites after that. I recommend you consider these items and have a tasting plan.
Generally, my rule of thumb is: I start with whites and work my way into the reds leaving the full-bodied, “big reds” for last. The fuller-bodied reds will leave residual flavors in your mouth longer than whites and lighter reds. This will also affect your ability to taste and judge the wines.
If you are tasting sparkling wines, I would taste those before I start on any whites. Sparkling wines are light and often semi-sweet. In my opinion it is best to get those out of the way first. I also recommend that you taste dry wines before sweet, such as dry Rieslings. You want to taste them before a wine like Moscato. The sugar in sweet wines may cause a more acidic feeling on your tongue and mouth which may change the taste of the dry wines.
When you start tasting reds, I would suggest drinking lighter-bodied wines, such as Pinot Noir, Grenache, Lambrusco, etc., first before the heavier red wines such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and so on. As I touched on earlier, drinking the heavier wines first would affect your palate and the taste of the lighter red wines.
I also recommend drinking older wines before younger ones. Older wines have a tendency to be more complex with developed flavors and have less effect on your palate allowing you to get greater enjoyment from the older wines.
Finally, drink dessert wines after all of your other wines. Fortified and dessert wines are, at times, super sweet or super thick and because of this, it is best to save them until the end of your tasting.
There are no rules for tasting wines in a specific order…it’s a personal preference and entirely up to you. There is also a general understanding that you drink from white wines to red wines as your palate changes. As a general rule here is how I suggest you taste your wines:
- Sparkling wines
- Dry whites
- Heavier, older whites
- Rosé wines
- Younger, lighter reds
- Bold, full-bodied high alcohol red wines
- Sweet dessert and ice wines
If you are tasting a lot of wines it makes sense to cleanse your palate by drinking some water, which you can spit out. Or you can eat some unsalted crackers which will soak up the wine taste. Remember life is too short to not enjoy your wines.
Oktoberfest Wine & Beer Dinner With Iechyd Da Brewing Company at LEX 530
Mark your calendars for the next LEX 530 Wine Dinner which will be held on October 15, 2019, at the LEX 530 Event Center in Elkhart. This Oktoberfest Wine & Beer Dinner will feature premium wines selected by vintner Carl Tiedemann as well as craft beers provided by Iechyd Da Brewing Company. The event begins at 6:00 pm with dinner starting at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $80 each. Call Courtney at 574-296-1314 to purchase your tickets!
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- November 7 – International Merlot Day
- November 14 – International Tempranillo Day
- November 20 – International Zinfandel Day
- December 4 – Cabernet Franc Day
- December 20 – National Sangria Day
- December 31 – National Champagne Day