Perhaps the thought of wine tasting conjures up mental pictures of stoic wine snobs swirling, squinting at, sniffing, slurping, and spitting that make the process look tedious and tiring. Why would you spend a beautiful Paso Robles day doing something so mundane? There are reasons the pros do what they do but the rest of us just want to have fun. So here are a few things to remember on your next (or first) wine tasting foray.
If you feel awkward trying to look suave swirling and sniffing the wine, consider that your sense of taste actually begins in your nose. The “nose” or “bouquet” of a wine is as important as the taste. Swirling lets the wine breathe and sniffing it allows you to experience the full complexity of the wine as you taste.
Sip and spit? Ick! While there is a point to it (especially when you’re tasting glass after glass), to get a full understanding of the wine you need to know how it goes down and to experience the aftertaste or finish. And in the spirit of not wasting good wine, in Paso Robles you ALWAYS sip.
Should you taste wine with food or naked (sans food not clothes)? That’s entirely up to you. A truly good wine is enjoyable all on its own, but pairing it with food can bring out the best in it. And a knowledgeable server will know which food goes best with which wine.
Most importantly, remember wine is still an individual preference. And when you do find a wine you love buy a bottle, or buy two and put one away for a special occasion. If you find a winery that you love join their wine club; you’ll get new wines to try and save on members’ only deals.
So the next time someone mentions wine tasting, don’t start yawning and making excuses to not go. Get out and taste a few new wines now and then – it can be a heck of a lot of fun.