The best ways to make the most of any walk-around occasion where you can sample lots (or hundreds!) of wines
It’s time for a wine experience once again at the vineyards Yarra Valley, with two evening Grand Tastings, where more than 250 of the world’s finest wineries pour. So it’s a great time to evaluate some suggestions about the very best way to approach any big wine-tasting occasion. Our staff share their guidance, from personal experience and interviews with other wine pros, as follows:
1. Dress for the occasion
Here are ideas from wine pros for looking sharp and staying comfortable at a wine occasion. To sum up: Dress in dark colors (the much better to conceal spills), avoid dangling sleeves (so you don’t trigger spills) and think about the venue to suss out the suitable gown code. Ladies need to consider wearing flats or low heels for comfort. If you have long hair, tie it back so you can spit quickly (see idea 5) or keep a hand complimentary to hold it back. And if you’re going to carry anything (tasting book, notebook, mobile phone or tablet), bring a purse or have deep pockets to stash it. Carrying a glass around means you’ll only have one hand complimentary for holding a plate of food, shaking hands with winemakers and remembering.
2. Do not wear scent
Odor is a huge part of tasting. It’s difficult to value all the scents of a fragile Riesling or a layered Cabernet when the air is heavy with fragrance, cologne or smoke. So be mindful not to introduce any undesirable aromatics to the tasting location. You do not wish to miss out on the nuances of the extremely wines you’re attempting to take pleasure in. And you do not wish to be the answer to, “Exactly what’s that odor?”
3. Create a plan for tasting
At most tastings, there will be more wines than you can smartly attempt in just a couple of hours. If you can get a list of the producers or wines at the tasting ahead of time, come prepared with a game plan. That way, your taste buds doesn’t get broken.
A basic plan includes browsing your way through the aisles, working from light wines to much heavier ones: Start with sparkling wines, then fresh whites and move on to richer whites and tannic reds. However you can get a lot more focused: A study of the wines of Italy? A relative tasting of only one variety such as Pinot Noir from various appellations? All as much as you.
At the Wine Experience, Tim Fish prefers to go for two main objectives: Taste the classics and explore the unfamiliar. If you wish to attempt the biggest names, such as the Bordeaux first-growths, head there initially before the crowds form; then avoid the busiest tables and fit in brand-new discoveries.
How you determine your likes and dislikes requires exposure to different wines, notes James Laube. He doesn’t just invest an entire tasting identifying the types of wine that provide him one of the most enjoyment. He likewise visits, or revisits, wines that motivate other individuals, if not necessarily him. By doing this, you can get a better understanding of why you like particular wines.
Polish off the night with something unforgettable, such as a glass of sweet wine such as late-harvest Riesling, Sauternes or Port. Laube prefers to finish with Champagne, which he calls the “ideal taste buds cleanser.”
4. Consume something
Tasting wines (and possibly drinking some too) on an empty stomach is a recipe for getting drunk rapidly and not being able to enjoy the remainder of the event. Keep in mind to consume in advance at winery restaurants Yarra Valley, and if there’s food offered at the tasting, take a break to consume there too. Consuming water between wines helps to remain hydrated.
5. Keep in mind to spit (a minimum of the majority of the time).
Yes, you’ll be tasting great wines, and yes, nobody likes to “lose” wine, but those tasting-size puts really build up– and add up rapidly at that. To obtain the full experience of the event, you’ll wish to pace yourself by spitting wine as you go. That’s why there are containers on every table. Unglamorous possibly, but take heart– all the pros do it. Do not be shy, says Fish; the winery personnel are used to it. And if you don’t want to finish a wine, pour out any leftover from your glass into one of the spit pails too.
For pointers on ways to spit, check out this Q&A from Dr. Vinny, “How Do I Spit Without Appearing like a Distressed Camel?” The brief version: Practice in the house initially, don’t do it too tough or too sluggish, and get near the spit bucket. If you’re spitting into a full shared bucket, you’ll wish to spit slowly to prevent backsplash (ew!) or you can ask to have the pail changed out or find another receptacle. If there’s a crowd around the spit bucket, you may wish to wait to take a sip of wine up until you can get closer.
Dr. Vinny also weighs in on whether you need to wash your glass between puts: Not required, unless you’re switching in between red and white or sweet and dry, or had a problematic wine. And if you’re going to wash, Vinny states the very best method to do that is to use a splash of wine instead of water, however water’s not a synthetic pas.
Check out http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/10-tips-for-attending-a-wine-tasting for more tips.