In this post, I will be sharing with you how to taste wine. The three S’s in tasting wine are: Sight, Smell and Sip.
First, examine the color of the wine. The color of the wine will tell you a little bit about the body and the flavors of the wine. The lighter the color, the lighter the body and flavor notes and vice versa. Looking at the color of the wine is also very important when comparing wines with each other. When comparing a Sauvignon Blanc with a Chardonnay, you will see that the Chardonnay will have a deep golden yellow color; whereas, the Blanc will be a soft pale yellow. When tasting the two, you will notice that the Chardonnay will have richer flavor notes and a heavier body than the Blanc. While the Blanc will taste crisp, light and refreshing on the palate.
The next step in tasting wine is to smell. You will want to start off by gently swirling your glass of wine. This will oxygenate the wine and release the aromas in your glass. Next, put your nose in the glass, take a deep breath and breathe in the wine. By the third sniff, you should smell the different flavors that you will possibly taste on your palate.
Now it’s time for the best part. Sip the wine and get a good taste. Gently swirl the wine around your mouth, letting the wine coat your cheeks. Breath in your nose as you take a sip and begin identifying the flavors that you are tasting. After tasting your wine, think about other wines that you have had and start making comparisons. Make mental notes about what you may or may not have enjoyed about the wine.
What I love most about wine tasting is that I feel like I am on an adventure every time I try a new one. It is very important in your wine tasting journey that you explore the world around you. Try new foods, explore new places, and be adventurous. You wouldn’t believe how smelling the flowers at your local grocer or florist shop will help you pick up on the different floral notes in a wine. Try new fruits and smell them. All of this helps in identifying flavor notes in your wine.
Well Smileys, I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite wine and your most unique tasting note.
How many of you have wine left from the “Sweet Wine with Your Sweetheart” Series? Have you been wondering what to do with the leftovers? Well, I have two delicious wine cocktail recipes just for you!
Red Wine Sangria
You will need:
1/2c Roscato Sweet Red
1/4c Cranberry Juice
1/4c Simply Lemonade
1 Tbs Lime Juice
1/2 of a Raspberry Orange peeled and squeezed (This fruit is seasonal)
1 Raspberry Orange segment for Garnish
Fill up half of your wine glass with ice. Then in the order listed above add all of your ingredients. Be sure to squeeze the juice of the oranges into the glass before adding the segments. Next, add your garnish. Give it a nice stir and enjoy!
White Wine Sangria
You will need:
1/2c Stella Rosa Moscato D’Asti
1/4c Apple Juice
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
3 Strawberries Sliced Veritcally
1 Whole Strawberry for Garnish
Fill up half of your wine glass with ice. Next, add your sliced strawberries. Then in the the order listed above add the rest of your ingredients. Give it a nice stir and refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow the juice from the strawberries to seep in the Sangria. After 15 minutes, give it a nice stir, garnish and enjoy.
I hope you enjoy these wine cocktail recipes! Spring is right around the corner and these cocktails will be a refreshing treat to enjoy on these upcoming beautiful days.
Today’s wine of choice is a dessert wine. And I thought I would do something extra special by incorporating a local favorite into the Series. All the way from Fort Worth, Tx I am sharing with you Cowtown Winery’s: Texas Gold.
Wine: Texas Gold, Cherry Chocolate
Tasting Notes: This is a dessert wine with notes of black cherry, mocha, espresso and chocolate. The notes of chocolate and cherry were added to the wine. This wine reminds me of a port so I used wine tasting glasses as my glassware of choice. The wine has a dark chocolate play on a cherry cordial due to the notes of espresso and mocha. Coffee and Chocolate lovers will absolutely love this wine. The wine is extremely sweet, so those of you who enjoy sweet wines and/or sweet desserts will fall in love with this treasure.
I hope this series has been giving you some great ideas on wines to try. Let me know which ones are your favorite thus far by commenting below or on Instagram.
XOXO, Smiling Danny
In case you are wondering: What are Tasting Glasses? Tasting glasses are little wine glasses big enough only for one ounce pours. You will usually find them at wineries. Sometimes, wineries will use these instead of full sized glasses when going through a tasting menu.
Next in the Series is a Sweet Red Italian wine. This wine was recommended to me by the Wine Manager at Market Street Supermarkets.
Wine: Roscato Rosso Dolce
Bouquet: Grape Popsicle, Cranberry Juice, and Cherry Cordial
Taste: Fizzy Port, Cough Syrup, Very Sweet
Pairing: This wine paired nicely with cheese. The cheeses of choice were Parmesan and Babybel. I served the cheese with toasted crackers and noticed that the wine made the cheeses the star of the show. I preferred the wine with the cheese versus by itself.
Taste: Notes of cherry, blackberry and red raspberry
Pairing: Barbecue, spicy dishes, and pasta with red or cream sauce
I hope you are enjoying this series thus far. Leave a comment on here or Instagram letting me know which wine you have enjoyed the most.
I am back with another Sweet Wine. This wine is indeed a SWEEeeet one but I have truly enjoyed it. The wine that I have for you this week is a Moscato D’Asti. Anytime you see D’Asti, know that the wine will be an Italian wine with a hint of effervescence. Asti is a province in Northwest Italy. Due to the wine being sweet and low in alcohol, it is considered to be a dessert wine.
Taste: Apricot, Honey, Effervescence. The sweetness of the wine is not overbearing.
Clarity: Clear, No legs
Pairing: Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries: The chocolate on the strawberries hi-lited the effervescence in the wine. The bitterness of the dark chocolate and the sweet wine blended together so eloquently causing a nice melted chocolate effect on the palate.
Vintor’s Pairing Suggestions: Fresh Fruit, Spicy dishes and Desserts
I hope you enjoy this wine and wine pairing as much as I did. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. Until Next Week, XOXO, Smiling Danny
Are you ready for Valentines Day? This month I thought that I would do a Sweet Wine Series. So each week this month I will be trying out sweet wines and leaving tasting notes right here on the blog. Consider this my labor of love as many of you know I am not a fan of sweet wine.
This week I tried the Sparkling Rose’ by Cupcake Vineyards. Unfortunately, I assumed that this would be a sweet wine especially since I found it displayed with the sweet wines; however, it is not sweet at all! This wine reminds me of a dry Prosecco. The good news about that is that this wine makes a great pairing wine for fruit and a great base for wine cocktails. The Vintor’s notes state that this wine delivers notes of raspberry, strawberry and floral. I didn’t pick up any of those notes. The Vintor also suggests pairing this wine with shrimp ceviche or fresh blooms. I tried this wine with shrimp and didn’t particularly care for it but I did enjoy it with some blueberries and grapes. I also made a nice wine cocktail with this wine. I think that you will enjoy it, especially for those of you who enjoy spending Valentine’s Day with your friends as well.
Remember in my “Wine 101” post (October 14, 2019) that I mentioned that wines are identified by their grape varietal or by the region in which it was produced? Well, I thought that this year I would post about some different grape varietals so that you will know a little bit about the grape and its characteristics when tasting and buying wine. Of course this is not an exact all be all because weather conditions, soil, climate, and production all come into play when it comes to the final taste of the wine. These notes that I share with you will just be a foundation or springboard as you began to explore wine yourself. As you try several of the same grape varietal, you will notice the consistencies in the wine.
The first grape that I would like to introduce to you is Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the world’s most famous grape and it is grown in every vineyard around the world. At least every vineyard that I have visited or researched. It is also the most successful red grape in California although it has a dusty blue hue. Cabernet was introduced to the United States of America in the 19th Century by way of Bordeaux, France. This grape is a grape that maintains its characteristics. Despite the blend or where it has been produced, Cabernets will hold its character. In a recent post, I mentioned that the Cabernet that I tasted, tasted like a true Cabernet. What I meant by that was that Cabernets have distinct characteristics that are always apparent despite its vintor, location, or the weather conditions that it was exposed to while growing.
Cabernet wine has powerful notes of black currant, dark chocolate and plum. When it is aged in oak, the notes will place emphasis on the minerality of the wine. Other notes that you may pick up in a Cabernet are dried fruit, savory spice and game meat. Cabernets have perfect tannins and range from light bodied to full bodied. Cabernets typically will be dry and pair well with following:
Cheese: Cheddar, Gorgonzola
Meat: Venison, Ribeye, Beef Stew
Fish: Grilled Tuna
Fruit: Black Cherries
Vegetables: Broccoli, Tomatoes
Sauces: Brown Gravy, Tomato Sauce
Herbs and Spices: Rosemary, Juniper, Lavender
Dessert: Bittersweet Chocolate, Gelato
I could go on and on but don’t want to overwhelm you with information. I hope that you find this post helpful as you explore one of my favorite wines: Cabernet Sauvignon.
This month I was afforded a wonderful opportunity to sample some of English Newsom Cellars’ newly released wines. I was asked to think of some pairings that would compliment the wines and I joyously and humbly accepted the task. After tasting the wines, I made notes of pairings that came to mind and then I came home and tried out my ideas. After reviewing my notes and pairing my suggestions, the pairing menu below came alive and created a culinary experience on our palates.
Wine: White Gold, 2018
Pairing: Prosciutto and Havarti Cheese
I feel a creamy cheese would pair well with this wine. The green apple notes of the wine create a prosciutto, havarti cheese and apple slice hors d’oeuvre on the palate.
Wine: Dry Muscat, 2018
Pairing: Bacon Wrapped Apricot (dried apricots)
The savoryness of the bacon and the sweetness of the apricot remind me of sweet and sour pork (Texas-Style). This is a common Asian dish as English Newsom recommends pairing this wine with Asian dishes. This wine also compliments the different textures of the appetizer. The sweetness of the apricot balances out the dryness of the muscat and plays on the bouquet of apricots in the nose.
Wine: Red Italian Blend, 2017
Pairing: Milk Chocolate Covered Almonds
The wine and the almonds provide a caramel component, creating a nice dessert or after dinner gourmet chocolate. Milk chocolate pairs better with this wine. A dark or an Intense dark may overpower the hint of smoke in the wine.
Wine: Tempranillo, 2017
Pairing: Dark Chocolate and Marshmallow
This pairing reminds me of a campfire smore or a roasted/toasted marshmallow. The deep smoke notes of the wine create not only a pleasurable taste on the palate but an experience of camping or sitting around a campfire enjoying a smore. Should we add a graham cracker? No, it will just take away. These textures mesh well together and provide an experience or reminiscent memory.
Thank you, once again, to English Newsom for having me out and allowing me to lead my first wine pairing class. I enjoyed meeting everyone that came out and look forward to seeing you again and meeting new faces. For those of you who didn’t get to make it out, I hope you try out these pairings, you will love them. This was a fun experience and as mentioned in my last post; it’s all trial and error. Just jump right in and enjoy yourself.
XOXO, Smiling Danny
PS: All of these appetizers I created with items purchased from my local grocer. But if you want to know the exact brands I used, they are listed below:
United Supermarkets, Boar’s Head Prosciutto and Harvarti Cheese, Kraft Marshmallows and Hershey dark chocolate chips