Do you want to enjoy a glass of wine but you do not know what to choose between a Burgundy, a Bordeaux or a Rhone? Do not panic, it's easier than expected!
We are not all wine experts, amateurs who can choose at a glance a good bottle and use terms such as silky, round or balanced. This does not prevent us from sometimes wanting to enjoy a glass of wine. But what to do when we do not know what we like? There is this wine, tasted at Tatie last month, but how to find an equivalent?
And we are tempted to deprive ourselves of ordering a glass of wine on the terrace because we do not understand why there are all the cities of France on the map of coffee. But fortunately, there are some very simple tricks to memorize to start in the tasting of red wines.
Tannic, acidic or burning?
The worst question to ask a neophyte is "what do you like? ". No, we have not memorized the label of all the bottles that passed in front of our eyes. And even if the next dinner we look good on the label, knowing that we liked a glass of Les Hauts de la Gaffelière will be of no help in front of a coffee or restaurant card. Unless you remember why you liked it.
When you drink a sip of wine, or any drink for that matter, your taste buds detect several things. Flavors: Is it sweet, sour, bitter or salty? Then come the sensation: is it raspy, sweet or sparkling? This tasting step, you do it every day to find out if you prefer the acidity of the lemon pie or the sweet sweetness of a chocolate mellow.
Nevertheless, the most important step is knowing what you like. But this time, remember what you enjoyed in your tasting.
It will be necessary first to detect what is the level of tannin of a wine. Tannin is the vegetable substance extracted from the skin and seeds of red grapes during maceration. But especially tannin dries the mouth. It is he who sometimes gives the impression that a glass of wine "sucks" the saliva of your palate. A wine is said to be tannic if the feeling of drying of the mouth is strong. On the contrary, a red wine is supple if it slides on the tongue without leaving a trace.
Is the wine you drink acidic? This is the second axis that defines a wine. The third and last is his level of alcohol. Is this wine "hot", does it leave a greasy feeling in your mouth?
And the last step of this tasting: do you like what you drink? And what, according to these three axes, you like the most?
Associate a "taste" with a region
You're happy to know what makes a wine taste and what you prefer, but you still do not know what to choose on the map and the waiter gets impatient.
Light wines are those with very light tannins, which dry little or no mouth, and have a marked acidity, still fruity. If that's what you like, head to wines made in Burgundy, Beaujolais or the Loire.
Do you like powerful wines? Head for the Bordeaux Left Bank wines, especially the Médoc, and more generally South-West.
The wines are stronger in alcohol, are poor in acidity and "envelope" in the mouth tannin thanks to this sensation of fat mentioned above. These wines come from sunlit regions where the grapes can thrive and gorge themselves with sugar. These sun-drenched wines are warmer in the mouth and generally come from the Côtes du Rhône and Provence.
Fine wines are a little more complex to recognize and apprehend. They are acidic but the tannins are much less present. Very aromatic, they stay longer in the mouth and can come from Bordeaux, Burgundy or the Loire.
To find on the map of France which wines you like is a first clue to choose your glass, and finally to answer the famous question "what do you like". And this is the most important thing in a tasting: what you liked. A wine is good if you enjoyed it. There is no need for oenology training to know if you like what you drink or not.
The next step is to know the grape varieties of these regions to further refine your choice. But these are future adventures!