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Wine Tasting – Colour

22/08/2013

There are 5 definitive steps to tasting wine, which can be identified as 5 basic observations and activities: Color, Swirl, Smell, Taste, and Savor.

This week we will be focusing on colour. Now we are not just talking about whether it is red, white or rose; there is a whole technique and vocabulary for discerning the exact hue and appearance of your wine.

First hold your filled glass up in the air at a 45 degree angle, preferably against a white background. How intense is the color of the wine?  An intensity of color is a sign of a wine with a heavier body.

Different grape varieties also have different hues. White wine can range from dull to dazzling and this is a good clue to the acidity of the wine. A wine with higher acidity will be brighter and a wine with less acidity will have a duller color.

Color opacity can also give an intimation as to the age of the wine. Whites and reds behave conversely: red wines get lighter as they get older and white wines darken with age. Opacity is also an indicator for what kind of grape was used to make the wine.

Finally look at the bubbles in Prosecco and sparkling wines as they can demonstrate the quality, strong and persistent bubbles are evidence of a fine sparkling wine.

Who would have thought a glance could be so informative, if only everything was as easy!

Image: WineFolly.com