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Brudenell News and Blog

31st October 2013

Top 3 Wine Tasting Tips

As we get ready for the first of our Autumn Wine Dinners hosted by the Gouguenheim Winery I'd like to share with you a few tips on how to taste wine and share your knowledge with your friends.

We're delighted to welcome Argentinian winery Gouguenheim to Aldeburgh for their exclusive tasting dinner on 14th November.

The focus for the evening will be to spend a relaxing evening with good company, stimulating conversation and a good glass of wine or half a dozen. We'll also be treated to an amazing 4-course wine dinner with recipes created by our very own head chef James Barber whilst we hear about the wines we are quaffing, including:

Torrontes, Bodegas Gouguenheim, Mendoza

Chardonnay, Gouguenheim, Argentina

Malbec Reserve, Bodegas Gouguenheim, Mendoza

Banyuls Flores Blend, Bodegas Gouguenheim, Mendoza

So in preparation for the evening here are my top 3 tips for tasting

1. Eye spy with my little eye

Pour the wine into a suitable wine glass (the glassware is important but we will go onto that another time). Stop to take a good look at the wine. Tilt the wine glass away from you to view the colour against a white background.

If it's a red wine, what type of red is it? Burgundy, ruby, maroon, brick?
If it's a white wine, what type of white is it? Golden, amber, light green?

Then take a look at the wine's opaqueness. Is it watery, thick and dark, transparent or opaque, dull, cloudy or clear?

An older white wine will be darker in colour and an older red have more orange hues.

2. Take a good whiff

Swirl your glass of wine for 10 seconds to get a good whiff of your wine's aroma. Next poke your nose right into the glass and inhale deeply. What do you smell? Citrus, grapefruit, oranges, berries, oak, flowers? Swirl and sniff again.

The smell of the wine will give you a good indication on the quality of the wine.

3. Take the taste test

Take a small sip and let it roll around your mouth. What's the initial taste sensation on your palette? Intense, light, soft, creamy, crisp, dry, sweet? This is called the attack.

Don't swallow, leaving the wine in your mouth we move into the evolution phase of the taste test. You are looking for the flavour profile.

In reds this might be tasting fruits such as plums or spices such as cinnamon.

In whites this might be tasting citrus fruits such as grapefruit or flavours of honey.

And drink. Once swallowed we are looking for how long the flavour and your first impression lasts - the finish.

I've actually got one more tip; have lots of fun.

Find out more about the wines on offer at the Brudenell.

We believe that good wines should be available in restaurants at reasonable prices and we hope that you find something that pleases you.