It can be an intimidating task to become familiar with wine—a task that can have many details, but one we want to show can be a lot more fun than discouraging. Also, there are a few new faces here on the Wiens Team that know exactly how you feel! Too many questions to ask all at once, or to not even know to ask at all. So, as a tribute to all the newbies out there, we are going to start answering these questions with you. As a fellow newbie myself, I can assure you you’re not alone! These answers will give us a way to all learn together. & if you already consider yourself a connoisseur, follow along anyways; who knows, you may learn something new!
Standing in a room with our winemakers, Joe & Brian, & Blake from Production, probably as red as the wine they were making that morning (from my unnecessary embarrassment), I decided to first ask, “When tasting wine, what is it you’re looking for exactly?” This seems pretty broad now that I’ve heard the answers, but we have to start somewhere! Nevertheless, the flood of answers started crashing in. A common agreeance among them was that wine tasting is all very subjective. Even if you don’t know what you like when tasting, you’ll get there. Ultimately, comparing & contrasting is really the key to this goal. Simply put, try a lot of wine! Blake says tasting wines right after another is the best way to do this. Joe also recommends trying wines back-to-back of the same variety, if possible, to give you a good idea of the varietal (belonging to a single variety of grapes) characteristics. This way, you can get a better idea of what fruit profiles are present, or the level of tannins (the chemical compounds in the grape that attribute to the texture & mouthfeel of wine—truly, another question for another time) & acidity. Brian recommends tasting with other people. You may pick up on certain notes while tasting alone, but drinking with others can give you a more accurate, or even unexpected, outcome. Wine is a great social drink because of this!
So now I have a few good tips for the next time I go wine tasting:
1. Practice, practice, practice!
2. Compare & contrast
3. Try the same variety
That list doesn’t seem so intimidating, after all. Everyone starts at the beginning before they become masters of anything. So, if you feel discouraged from building your wine knowledge, don’t be! The trick is to always be learning.
Bailey Morris, Marketing/ Gift Shop
Think of your own questions you want answered? Leave them in the comments or DM us on social media!