Wine Tasting - The Sense of Smell
There are a few very important things to note when we "nose" a wine. It is suggested to first smell the wine before swirling, noticing the delicate aromas. Next, swirl the wine and smell again after it is at rest. Depending on the bouquet, you may then notice a profound difference in the odors emerging. Aroma is a smell that originates from the actual grape, with very clear cut characteristics. Aroma is most prevalent in young wines. The bouquet of a wine refers to smells generated as a result of aging; smells found particularly in mature wines that were aged in a bottle. The bouquet generally has much softer and complex characteristics than aromas. Identifying what you smell is usually the most challenging part in wine tasting. Although there are many smell categories used to describe characteristics of wine, none have been exclusively agreed upon.
Wine Tasting - The Sense of Taste
After observing your wine using the sense of sight and smell, it is then time to use your palate to identify tastes. This is far more detailed than simply tasting as we would any other beverage. We must remember to note the characteristics of the wine on all sensory areas of the tongue. Sweetness is detected on the very tip of the tongue, while bitter tastes are sensed in the extreme rear. Saltiness is sensed on the front, upper sides of the tongue, and the acidity-sour taste is sensed mainly on the sides. Some suggest focusing your attention on one sensation at a time in order to be more efficient in your taste. Try taking a sip of wine and swallowing immediately. Then try another sip, this time letting the wine work well around the palate into these sensory areas before swallowing. You will recognize a noticeable difference in the intensity of flavors!
Cabernet Sauvignon (pronounced CA-burr-nay SO-vin-yawn):
The "king" of the world’s red wine grapes, cabernet sauvignon originated in the Bordeaux region of France, but also produces superlative wines around the globe, including California, Washington State, South America, Eastern Europe, and Australia. In California, the finest renditions generally come from the Napa Valley.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a late-ripening variety, with small, deeply colored, thick-skinned berries that yield dark, intensely flavored, tannic, long-lived wines that often require years of aging to soften and become drinkable. Like chardonnay, the grape can be grown in a multitude of different growing regions and conditions (although it prefers warmer climates) and yet reliably impart characteristic varietal aromas and flavors, which most often are compared to black currant, cherry, bell pepper and green olive.
Cabernet Sauvignon profits from blending with other complementary grape types, such as the softer, fruitier merlot and the highly perfumed cabernet franc (with which it is customarily blended in Bordeaux), and also from extended wood aging, most notably in French oak barrels. Often hard and monochromatic when young, cabernet sauvignon, with extended bottle aging, can develop fine, complex aromas and flavors.
Cabernet is an excellent accompaniment to red meats, especially steak and roast beef.
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