For too many people, wine tasting conjures up images of snobbery and social embarrassment. This is a shame because there is just so much enjoyment to be had in the informed tasting of wine. Gilbert & Gaillard are determined to bring this pleasure to a wider audience and the company's renowned guides and magazines have many features to help even the novice get to grips with the basics of wine tasting. By breaking the flavours of wine down into easily understood components, the mysteries of wine fall away to replaced by the joy of a deeper understanding.
The basics of wine tasting
With the help of Gilbert & Gaillard guides, wine tasting stops being perplexing and start being an activity to look forward to. Help is on hand to help the wine taster understand the basics of the wine flavours, including sweetness, acidity, tannin, fruit and body. Even dry wines have a little sweetness, which can give the wine a rounder flavour. Wines from cooler climates tend to have more acidity, although this facet of the wine is often mistaken in tastings for a higher alcohol content. Wines with a high acid content tend to feel lighter or even spritzy and can be a refreshing choice.
More wine tasting notes
Tannin is another concept in wine tasting that is often misunderstood. It gets confused with dryness because it does actually dry the mouth. Tannin is produced from certain phenolic compounds that introduce bitterness to a wine. These compounds are found in the seeds and skins of grapes and can also be added form the wood of a barrel when wine is aged in oak. If you think of how a wet teabag would feel on your tongue, you will have some idea of the power of tannin. This description may not sound tempting but it is the tannin in wine that gives it structure and adds complexity. It also helps the wine remain in good condition for longer.
Why attend a wine tasting?
The purpose of a wine tasting is certainly not to bamboozle but rather to help the wine lover develop a deeper appreciation of the wine. With this understanding comes a far greater enjoyment of the wine and this can turn a casual wine drinker into a real connoisseur. Becoming adept at wine tasting also means understanding the language of wine and this in itself helps the wine lover to understand tasting notes like those used in the Gilbert & Gaillard guide.