Wine Tasting - The Sense of Taste
After observing your wine using the sense of sight and smell, it is then time to use your palate to identify tastes. This is far more detailed than simply tasting as we would any other beverage. We must remember to note the characteristics of the wine on all sensory areas of the tongue. Sweetness is detected on the very tip of the tongue, while bitter tastes are sensed in the extreme rear. Saltiness is sensed on the front, upper sides of the tongue, and the acidity-sour taste is sensed mainly on the sides. Some suggest focusing your attention on one sensation at a time in order to be more efficient in your taste. Try taking a sip of wine and swallowing immediately. Then try another sip, this time letting the wine work well around the palate into these sensory areas before swallowing. You will recognize a noticeable difference in the intensity of flavors!
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Pinot Noir (PEE-know Na-WAHR)
The great red wine of France’s Burgundy region is produced by one of the world’s most challenging grape varieties - both to grow and vinify. For every great pinot noir, there are a dozen poor or mediocre versions, and this is true wherever pinot noir is made, whether in France, California, Oregon, Germany, or New Zealand.
Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, with its fine, delicate aroma and flavor disappearing when grown in warmer climes. It is an ancient variety notorious for having dozens of inferior mutations (clones), which likely account for much of the insipid wine produced in its name around the world.
A thin-skinned, early ripener, pinot noir is prone to a host of viticultural maladies, from mildew and rot to viruses like fanleaf and leafroll. It is also difficult to vinify, with the vintner’s primary challenge to draw sufficient color and flavor from the grape skins without extracting too much astringent tannin.
Despite these difficulties, what motivates pinot noir producers to keep trying is that the grape can make marvelously aromatic, flavorful wines boasting a seductive perfume of strawberry, raspberry, black cherry, tea, mint, violets, and oriental spices, and silky, ethereal flavors The best pinot noirs benefit from judicious aging in high-quality French oak barrels and are profitably paired with subtly seasoned salmon, chicken, ham, and lamb dishes.
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