When you are in a group you have a chance to discover other people who share the same likes and dislikes for wine. Hearing opinions from people that you personally know and respect (either themselves or just their palate) will help develop your palate education.
Any room or open area (even outside) can be used as a venue for a tasting, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines.
- The area should be well lighted, free of smells; be it from wood, flowers, perfume, or even many foods.
- Many serious tasters also prefer a quiet room – indeed, talking about the wine before all people have had a chance to taste it is considered a faux pas. The power of suggestion can take hold in any taster’s mind, and you should formulate your own opinion at first.
- Places to sit and desks to write are a good idea if you want people to be taking notes or scoring wines.
- Also, with numerous wines open, a few buckets or extra cups for spitting are always a good idea.
Spitting is not at all looked down upon and is actually a necessity for serious wine tasters. If you are drinking all of your samples, eventually the alcohol will confuse your palate. You don’t have to swallow wine to fully taste it either. Many people swish the wine around their mouth for 7 to 10 seconds for a full taste. Some sip air through their lips and the wine sample; to fully experience the wine. Not to mention what drinking your samples after a night of tasting will do to your ability to drive. If you have a horrible aversion to spitting, try to eat a meal before hand, your body absorbs less alcohol on a full stomach. Or if you are out for a good time be sure to organize a car pool or take a taxi.
We hope this gets you started tasting on a regular basis or at least eases some of the uppity or constricted views on wine tasting. Tastings are really something that everyone should be doing. If you don’t like wine, you might find a few exceptions, or you may learn why you don’t like certain wines. Tasting is all about learning your own preferences, it just takes practice. However, if you are looking for more tasting tips, please check back in a few weeks. We will be discussing more fully the types of wine tastings, how to taste wine, etiquette, even wine clubs and many other tasting facets. If you have any questions or topics please let us know.