29 Sep 5 Smart Ways to Develop Your Wine Palate
Having a refined wine palate makes it easy to impress anyone.
When Oxford and Cambridge wine tasters squared off in a recent contest, nearly 50% of their guesses related to grape variety were correct. On top of that, the tasters were able to correctly identify the country of origin on 37% of attempts.
Since there are over 1,300 types of grapes used in winemaking, the results speak for themselves.
But nobody learns to taste that well overnight. It takes time to develop a palate on par with the very best. You have to recognize subtle differences and develop an impeccable wine memory.
Keep reading to learn 5 ways you can improve your wine palate!
- Take Notes While Tasting
It’s helpful to take notes when exploring different varieties of wine. Start by describing what the wine looks like under normal lighting. Pay attention to color and clarity.
Next, make note of the scent. There will be plenty of primary, secondary, and tertiary aromas to look out for.
When determining taste, focus on the texture and acidity. Also, describe what type of finish the wine has and whether it’s short or long.
Top it all off by deciding if you actually enjoyed the wine. Try giving it a score on a 100-point scale.
By taking notes, you’ll eventually learn to notice subtle differences between similar wines.
- Taste With Friends
Taking notes is important if you want to develop your palate. However, blind tasting parties can go a long way as well.
Wrap a few bottles up with brown paper bags or aluminum foil. Label each one with a distinct number.
Compare notes and descriptions with the people around you. You’ll find it surprising how differently they describe flavors or notice new ones. As a result, you can expand your wine vocabulary, too.
- Compare Two Wines Directly
If you want to develop your palate effectively, try buying two different types of wine.
Pour 3 oz of each wine into separate glasses and begin tasting. Compare and contrast the two wines. Try to identify any differences and similarities between them.
Comparing wines side-by-side provides plenty of opportunities to learn. Sometimes, you can choose to compare wines from the same region. Other times, you can go with wines made from two different types of grapes.
- Perfect Your Swirling Technique
Smelling your wine is the key to detecting subtle aromas. To get the most out of smells and develop your wine palate, you have to learn how to swirl. Swirling helps the wine interact with oxygen, unlocking hundreds of aromas.
To swirl, draw circles for a few seconds while gripping the stem of the glass. Focus on moving in just one direction rather than switching back and forth.
If you’re new to wine tasting, you can also practice your technique by using water. This will prevent you from staining your clothes or carpet.
- Practice Often
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, the best way to develop your palate is to taste often. Therefore, it’s important to practice every time you get a glass of wine.
Instead of swigging down the entire glass, slow down. If you get a chance, look on the importer’s site to learn more about the wine. Also, try visualizing your surroundings as you drink to improve your memory.
Final Thoughts on Developing Your Wine Palate
Following the steps outlined above will help you refine your palate and learn the nuances of wine.
When tasting, avoid wearing fragrance, as it can mask the aromas. Also, if you become overwhelmed by aromas, take a whiff of your forearm to neutralize them.
If you’re ready to expand your palate, feel free to come by and visit our tasting room!