When sommelier’s evaluate a bottle of wine, they focus on six key factors:
Body, Tannins, Acidity, Sweetness, Flavor, Oak.
Over the next several Tuesday’s, train yourself to be a more insightful taster as we highlight each of the six key factors and share simple tasting exercises adapted from Food & Wine Magazine.
Defining Body: Weight in the wine world refers to texture or thickness – a physical sensation of viscosity on the palate that is also know as “body.” Full-bodied wines feel heavier than light-bodied wines because they contain more alcohol.
Sugar, oak and the overall concentration of flavors in a wine can also contribute to body.
Considering Wine Body & Food Pairings: Consider the body of both the wine and the food. The wine and the dish should be equal partners, with neither overwhelming the other.
There’s a fair amount of instinct to this. In other words, go with your gut when considering food and wine pairings.
Pippin Hill’s Petit Verdot complements rich cuts of red meat as they are equally vigorous, but if you paired a flank stead with a crisp glass of our Sauvignon Blanc, it would have conflicting complexities. In contrast, a light Viognier pairs elegantly with a subtly flavored smoked trout because they are equal in delicacies.
Familiarize yourself with the low-, medium-, and high-texture wines, along with key points on how each is perceived and examples of corresponding wines.
Wine-Tasting Workout: Body
1/4 cup each of skim milk, 2% milk, whole milk and heavy cream
Taste the milk in ascending order of richness, beginning with skim and ending with heavy cream, considering the texture of each and the sensation in your mouth. The skim milk should dissipate very quickly; the cream will coat your tongue.