This past weekend, I talked about 2 of the 3 ways to savor wine like a master somm. Got those tips memorized? Good. Now comes the best part:
The final step is, no doubt, to taste. Highly recommend you get yourself a spit cup, but I know you’re going to swallow anyway. Cheers!
To analyze each of these elements, we use a range of low-med-high:
Acid. Does the wine make you salivate? On the side of your tongue, near the back of your mouth, is where you can feel this sensation. Some of us call it “The Waterfall Effect”. Acid (not the stuff in college) is great for cleansing your palate after fatty foods like risotto or short ribs.
Tannin. Is your mouth drying up? Tannin is the sensation of dry mouth. It’s typically found on your cheeks and gums. Tannin tell us if the wine has been aged in oak (cheeks) and/or has spent extended time on the skins (Gums). Extra time on the skins adds additional bodyweight, as well as color.
Body. How does the wine feel in your mouth? I like to compare it between the feeling of water or milk. Water being of light-bodied weight and milk being full-bodied.
Alcohol. Can you feel the BERN!!! Oh wait, I mean the BURN!! Is the booze burning your senses or can you barely tell the stuff is getting you drunk?
Complexity. Did you have a lot to say as you went through this evaluation or no? If yes, then you have a complex wine in front of you. If not, then your wine is pretty boring and I hope you didn’t pay more than $10 for that shit.
BOOM there you go! That’s the whole wine tasting gig right there. The world’s best Sommeliers are expected to do this entire evaluation and a few extra steps…in under four minutes…and not even know what wine is in the glass.
The key is to practice every time you open a bottle of wine. Take the five minutes, learn and enjoy. After that, treat yourself to the rest of the bottle and show a friend what you’ve learned!
Now that you’re a bonafide expert, be sure to download the tasting sheet and get into this juice:
- Truchard Vineyards Chardonnay 2015 ($25)- Napa Valley, CA
- Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($16)- Marlborough, New Zealand
- Red Car Heaven & Earth Pinot Noir 2014 ($65)- Sonoma, CA
- Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 ($65) – Napa Valley, CA
About your #SommNextDoor
Nicholas Ducos is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a Certified Sommelier. He’s worked in many prestigious restaurants in Miami, Florida. As a chef and as a sommelier, he is dedicated to creating a memorable dining experience and making wine relatable to others in a witty yet refined style. Nicholas is currently the Assistant Winemaker at Heritage Vineyards in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. Follow his latest adventures through his website and Instagram.