Wining and Dining 101- The Five S Techniques

Your friends have come over, the ambience is tranquil, and all you can think of doing is savouring, judging and understanding the character of wine. What sets you apart from the rest is the fact that you want to know the wine and not just drink it. You are a connoisseur in the making, but we’re just getting started. The effort put into understanding the wine is just as interesting and enlightening as the work done to create it in the first place.

“Life is too short to drink bad wine.”― Anonymous

The most efficient way to sample and enjoy your wine is to follow the five S pattern- See, Swirl, Smell, Sip and Savour.

Wine is made up of various nutrients and compounds responsible for imparting colour, aroma, taste and texture. Thus, we have to rely on our sensory perception to quantify and perceive the vision, the fragrance, the flavour and the feel of the wine in order to appreciate it.

Seeing

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Pour enough wine to fill half of the glass, raise it up against natural light and study the colour. Wines range across a spectrum of colours depending on the type of grape used. As the wine ages, a deeper hue is imparted to it. Red wine turns to a burgundy colour whereas white starts turning to golden yellow straw shade.

Swirling

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Swirl the glass in a manner where the highest point of the wine touches the rim, make it a point not to fill the glass anymore and spill it. This allows for a greater amount of aroma to emanate from within the wine. Swirl and swirl vigorously

Smelling

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We’re almost there. Close your eyes and position your nose in a way that it is just over the mouth of the glass. Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose. Gauge the scents- check for sourness & sweetness, note down any additional hints of aromas. You can expect fruity, floral or peaty aromas.

Sip

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Finally, go ahead, take a sip. Roll the wine in your mouth to stimulate all the sensory glands in the mouth and feel the taste and aroma combine. Compare your observations to the traits you noted down as you smelled the wine. As you roll the wine across your tongue, observe the flavours you are able to comprehend. Some common flavours you can expect are oak, coffee, chocolate, pepper, spice, cherry and berry.

Lastly, Savour

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As you swallow your sip, exhale lightly through your nose, you will experience an after taste. Gauge the amount of time the flavour lingers for- a great wine will have a nice finish and a lengthy stay whereas a poor wine leaves quickly with little aftertaste.

Rinse your mouth, repeat numerous times with different wines and you will now know what to expect and how to go about a wine tasting session! This completes your wine experience.

A wine tasting session is all about enjoying the moment and the company around you. However, lot of experience in tasting would help in getting the taste and flavours correct.

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Wine Etiquette: The Perfect Setting

It’s a light breezy Sunday, the rains are coming in, you can feel the clouds approach but they aren’t here yet. You look around and all you can see is serenity as you sit in the quaint little Italian bistro in the heart of the city. You know what to order for food but you want this Sunday to be a cut above the rest. A Sunday all other weekends would want to live up to. What better way to set the bar than to spend this lazy afternoon appreciating good wine?

“Wine is bottled poetry.”- Robert Louis Stevenson

Wine, just like an individual, needs to be known properly in order to understand and appreciate its diverse characteristics and traits. To start off your conversation with it, you first need to heighten your sense of smell and taste. This is achieved by reducing the distractions caused by all other senses. For an optimum wine tasting session we recommend a room with a soft colour, medium light and a calming atmosphere. Think of wine tasting as a meditation session where your thought process should not deviate from your task at hand- appreciating the wine.

In order to completely use your taste buds for the wine tasting wash and rinse your mouth with mineral or tap water, followed by eating a piece of a digestive biscuit. Isabelle Lesschaeve, a wine coach suggests, “Another good sensory practice is to take at least a one-minute break between samples is also beneficial to your senses.”

You can now start with your wine tasting session.

You must first realize that tasting wine and appreciating it also involves judging the make. Ensure that you do not get personal- The price or subjective importance of the wine should not result in a biased session.

You can also have some fun by having a completely informal discussion on your favourite wines irrespective of their standing during the session. Couple the conversation with some scrumptious food you think would do well for the pairing. Rinse and repeat every week. After all, beauty lies in the eyes of the wine holder!

Now that you’ve set up the environment for your wine tasting extravaganza, stay tuned for the techniques you should practice in order to get the most from your wine.

Want to impress colleagues, surprise loved ones or just have a good time with wine? Sign up for Le Ambrosie’s Wine Blog Updates.