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Wine Tasting 101

Most of us make wine because we like to drink it. The drinking part is easy to master: just tilt your head back and swallow. The tasting part, however, is a little more complicated. There is a lot of mystic hoo-hah written about wine tasting, with tales of tasters so accomplished that they can not only tell what kind of wine it is, but also the vintage, producer, vineyard, and which side of the hill the grapes were grown on. This is what we technical guys term “hooey.” Sure, if you specialize in one type of wine — say, Bordeaux — and drink nothing but, you can develop a good-enough taste memory to identify some wines by a single taste. However, throw a couple of good California Meritages into the mix and the taster will be lost. Why to Taste The real aim of tasting is to identify grape characteristics and techniques used in making a wine. Then you can decide whether these suit your criteria. Analytical tasting will help you to separate the tastes and aromas that make up