As a newbie, being asked about your favourite wine or standard taste would be a hard thing to answer. These instances often happen when you attend a wine tasting event or even in a simple gathering, where wines are served. It can be a bit daunting.
The easiest method to identify your favourites would be learning the different classification of wines based on their primary characteristics. Just like choosing the best partner for you, immediately pick the wine of your dreams based on the standards that are ideal for you. Here they are:
It’s not a problem to look for the best wines for people with a sweet tooth. Most of the time, individuals tend to make first impressions on wines based on their level of sweetness as physiologically your perception of something sweet starts at the tip of your tongue.
Focusing your attention on your taste buds on the tip of your tongue would allow you to savor the sweetness. A tingling sensation on your taste buds indicates sweetness. Most of the dry wines tend to have more sweetness to make them more full-bodied.
Cheap red wines usually have approximately 0.9 g/L of residual sugar. Dessert wines are also the most renowned sweet wines.
A few people confuse any drink that taste zesty and tart as something alcoholic. However, it is acidity. Wines that have higher acidity are more lighter-bodied due to their spritzy characteristics.
Spritzy is commonly found in young wines and is considered as a minor mistake by other sommeliers. It is a little sensation of carbonation or addition of carbon dioxide, which is referred to as secondary fermentation as well, making it pleasant and giving it a sparkling feeling.
When you feel acidity on wine, your mouth feels damp, the same feeling you have when you are eating an apple. You can encounter a tingling sensation the concentrates on the sides and front of your tongue that you will feel gravelly when you rub your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Sometimes, some people generate excess saliva when tasting acidic wine, too.
Tannin often described as that characteristic that dries your mouth; however, it is not the same the level of dryness of a wine. Not only drying sensation, but tannin also tastes bitter and astringent typically on the side of your tongue or the front inside part of your mouth.
It is the existence of the phenolic compounds that contribute astringency to a wine. Phenolics are commonly found in the seeds and skins of wine grapes. It could also be included in wines with the use of oak or aging in wood.
Setting aside the negative factors, tannin is one of the essential features in red wines. It adds complexity, structure, balance, and could make wines last longer. If you are into sweet but want to try something bitter that dries your mouth, wines from Beaucastel Roussanne Vieilles Vignes are good to start with.
Every person has different perspectives on the taste of alcohol as we tend to interpret alcohol in different taste receptors. It could be sweet, spicy, bitter, or all these said flavors together at once.
Wines could taste more oily and bolder when they have higher alcohol content, while wines would taste lighter-bodied when they have lower alcohol content.
Moreover, wines tend to warm our throats due to their alcohol content. An average glass of wine has approximately 11-13% of alcohol, which means wines could range from as little as 5.5% alcohol by volume or ABV up to 20% ABV.
Boldness or body refers to the general impression of a wine. It is composed of the wine’s specific variety, place of origin, level of alcohol, vintage, and process of making. A wine could be in different boldness ranging from light-bodied to full-bodied.
A combination of many characteristics in a wine describes how bold it is. For instance, high alcohol content and tannin level are indicators of boldness. Another example, based on the spectrum of boldness in red wines, Schiava is the lightest while Tannat is the boldest.
For starters, there are few simple ideas that you could easily remember. One is that wines with lower alcohol tend to have lesser tannin but have a higher acidity so they would be less sweet. Also, wines with red fruit flavors tend to have lighter boldness, while black fruit flavors tend to have fuller boldness.