Sensory Evaluation : Tasting technique

What is the correct technique to taste wine?

You must have noticed how wine experts ‘gargle’ the wine before spitting it out, why do they do it?

Well there is a method to this madness and a need

The tongue has taste buds that allow you to taste sweet, umami, bitter, sour, salty.

The portion that registers sweet tastes is at the tip of the mouth, so the first element you must decipher is if the wine is sweet or dry. Almost simultaneously sourness is detected at the sides of the tongues and insides of the cheeks, the level of acidity of wine can be ascertained from this interaction. The aspect of acidity lingers longer than does sweetness, from this a taster can gauge the level of acidity in the wine

The sensation of bitterness takes longer, about 15 seconds from the time the wine first makes contact in the mouth and the middle and the back part of the tongue. During this period other tactile sensations like roughness, astringency, burning or prickling sensations are felt.

So it is important that the wine remain in the mouth for at least 15 seconds to get a full sensory feel before either ejecting or imbibing.

So remember next time someone claims to be a wine expert, watch them and time them ? or if you want to be in the position yourself, remember at least 15 seconds!

We will get into more complex topics of tasting in subsequent articles.

Till then Na Zdravje!