Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Advanced tasting part 1, the eyes

So you’ve taken your time, thought deeply about the wine you are drinking, and you may also have jotted some of these thoughts down. Are you closer to ‘getting’ or understanding this wine? Perhaps. Now it’s time to look at some slightly more advanced tasting techniques.

Advanced tasting
Tasting begins with the eyes. Colour is important in wine. It sounds silly, but the taste experience we have is quite heavily influenced by visual cues.

What we see prepares us for our taste experience without us realizing it. Even experts can be led astray: in rather naughty experiments, a French psychologist got experts to taste the same wine separated by a couple of weeks.

The first time it was labelled as a humble Vin de Pays, the second as a Grand Cru. The experts were fooled and used much more flattering terms to describe the same wine the second time round.

So as we come to a wine, it’s useful to remember this as we look at the colour in the glass, which is usually best revealed against a white background.


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