Wine tasting is a delightful activity to do at home, whether alone or with friends and family. It’s a great way to explore different grape varieties, regions, and styles of wine. In this article, we will guide you on how to do the perfect wine tasting at home, and we will include a description of five different wines from our Byron Bay Gifts hampers.
Step 1: Choose your wines
The first step to doing the perfect wine tasting at home is to choose your wines. You can select a single varietal, like Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, or you can select a range of wines from different regions or countries. For this wine tasting, we have chosen five wines from different regions and grape varieties:
Mt Yengo Pinot Grigio
The Mt Yengo Pinot Grigio is a white wine from the Hunter Valley in Australia. It has a pale straw color and aromas of pear, green apple, and citrus. On the palate, it is crisp and refreshing, with flavors of apple, peach, and a hint of minerality. It has a medium body and a clean, dry finish.
Annie's Lane Chardonnay
Annie's Lane Chardonnay is a white wine from the Clare Valley in Australia. It has a bright golden color and aromas of peach, melon, and vanilla. On the palate, it is rich and creamy, with flavors of tropical fruit, oak, and a hint of butter. It has a full body and a long, smooth finish.
Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon
Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine from the Barossa Valley in Australia. It has a deep ruby color and aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, and vanilla. On the palate, it is full-bodied and complex, with flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, and a hint of spice. It has a long, elegant finish.
Angove Organic Shiraz Cabernet
Angove Organic Shiraz Cabernet is a red wine from the McLaren Vale in Australia. It has a deep purple color and aromas of blackberry, plum, and spice. On the palate, it is full-bodied and rich, with flavors of dark fruit, black pepper, and a hint of oak. It has a smooth, velvety finish.
Rewild Rose is a rosé wine from the Loire Valley in France. It has a pale pink color and aromas of strawberry, raspberry, and rose petals. On the palate, it is light and refreshing, with flavors of red fruit, citrus, and a hint of minerality. It has a crisp, dry finish.
Step 2: Set the stage
Once you have chosen your wines, it's time to set the stage for your wine tasting. Here are some tips:
- Choose the right glassware. Use wine glasses with a large bowl and a narrow rim to concentrate the aromas and flavors of the wine.
- Use a white tablecloth or napkin to examine the color of the wine.
- Have a neutral smelling palate cleanser on hand, like crackers or plain bread.
- Make sure the room is well-lit and free from any strong odors or fragrances.
Step 3: Start tasting
Now it's time to taste the wines. Here's a step-by-step guide:
- Look at the colour of the wine by holding the glass up to the light. A Pinot Grigio like Mt Yengo typically has a light, pale straw color, while a Chardonnay like Annie's Lane can range from light to deep gold. A Cabernet Sauvignon like Penfolds will generally have a deep ruby red color, while a Shiraz Cabernet blend like Angove Organic may have a slightly darker hue. The rose, Rewild, will have a lighter pink or salmon color.
- Swirl the wine in the glass. This helps to release the wine's aroma, or bouquet. Take note of any scents that you can detect. Pinot Grigio usually has aromas of citrus and green apple, while Chardonnay can have hints of vanilla or oak. Cabernet Sauvignon typically has aromas of blackcurrant, while Shiraz Cabernet may have notes of black pepper or spice. Rose may have scents of red fruits or flowers.
- Take a small sip and let the wine linger in your mouth for a few seconds. Pay attention to the taste and texture. Pinot Grigio is typically crisp and refreshing, with flavors of citrus and pear. Chardonnay can range from buttery and rich to light and fruity. Cabernet Sauvignon has strong tannins and can taste of dark fruits like blackcurrant or blackberry. Shiraz Cabernet may have a fuller body with a spicy finish. Rose has a lighter body and can have flavors of strawberries or watermelon.
- Swallow or spit the wine out. If you're tasting several wines, it's a good idea to spit out the wine into a spittoon or sink to avoid getting drunk or over-tasting. Take note of the aftertaste or finish of the wine. Does it linger in your mouth? Is it dry or sweet? Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay tend to have a shorter finish, while Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz Cabernet can have a longer finish. Rose may have a refreshing finish.
- Repeat for each wine, taking breaks in between to cleanse your palate with water and plain crackers or bread.
Remember, wine tasting is a personal experience, so don't be afraid to take your time and make notes on what you like and don't like about each wine. With these tips, you can host a fun and educational wine tasting at home with friends or family. Cheers!