Fun facts about Tasting & Serving!

  1. A 75cl bottle contains about six glasses worth of wine, or 12 smaller glasses for tastings.
  2. Many wines aren’t vegan or vegetarian. A fining agent like egg or fish bladder is used to soften astringency from tannins and remove sediment.
  3. Malolatic fermentation occurs during the winemaking process, converting sharp malic acid into softer, more palatable lactic acid.
  4. Tannins are the substance in red wine that give it a bitter, sometimes astringent feel in the mouth. They are transferred to the grape juice when it comes into contact with the skins and seeds early in the winemaking process.
  5. Younger red wines are generally more tannic than their older counterparts. As red wines age, they also become lighter in colour.
  6. As a general rule, white wines should be served from 5-12 degrees Celsius depending on their characteristics, while reds should be between 10-18 degrees Celsius. Never serve wines at ‘room temperature’. Bear in mind that in the past the room temperature usually was around 14-15 degrees Celsius! If you serve a red wine at a room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius it will be mostly alcohol coming up and no aromas…
  7. Experts only fill their wine glasses a third of the way. This leaves plenty of room in the glass for aromas to develop.
  8. ‘Swirling’ a wine glass before tasting aerates the wine and helps to release its aromas.
  9. Wine glasses are tulip-shaped, curving inwards at the top so that aromas aren’t able to escape.
  10. There’s a widely accepted tasting process. Start by looking at the colour, then smell before you taste.
  11. Decanting red wine before serving can mimic the ageing process, allowing oxygen to flood into the liquid and develop its flavour.
  12. Oak imparts buttery vanilla flavours to a wine when it is aged in barrels.
  13. When chilling a wine, adding water to an ice bucket increases the surface area contact between a bottle and the cold, bringing the temperature down faster.
  14. There are 4 tasting elements to look for when sampling wine: acidity, sweetness, tannins and alcohol content.
  15. Moving the wine around in your mouth when tasting allows all of your taste receptors to fire. Sweetness is detected at the tip of the tongue, bitterness at the back and sourness on the sides.
  16. Matching a wine’s characteristics to the dominant flavours and ‘body’ of a meal can elevate a wine’s flavour and balance its elements.

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