Many people like to call themselves wine enthusiasts but the overlooked art of serving, opening and pouring wine is one thing a sommelier takes a lot of pride in perfecting.
In fact, the responsibility of a sommelier in fine dining is just as important as that of a chef de cuisine.
A professional sommelier is a knowledgeable and trained wine professional specialising in wine service as well as food and wine pairings in restaurants. There is no other better person to talk to about wine than a sommelier.
The best wines in the world are meant to be savoured. Here is a glimpse of how a true sommelier tastes, critiques and enjoys wine.
Take a Look
Just like food, tasting wine always starts with the eyes. A sommelier knows that the colour of a wine reveals a great deal about its quality and freshness.
Grip the wine glass firmly and tilt it slightly. For a clearer view of the wine, hold your glass against a clean, white surface, such as a napkin, plate or tablecloth.
Observe the depth of the colour from the rim of the glass all the way to the centre.
Young, delicious wine should be dark, often carrying tones of blue or purple with shiny accents. Deeper colours indicate a rich, concentrated wine. Wines that lack colour are more likely to be less ripe and more acidic.
Take a Sniff
Studies show that 85% of the taste is derived from the sense of smell. Giving your wine a little sniff will enhance its flavours and create a memorable wine-tasting experience.
Sommeliers have a distinct way of smelling their wine. They swirl the glass gently, allowing oxygen to penetrate the wine and release its scent into the air.
People often keep their mouths slightly open when inhaling and exhaling the wine so that they can perfectly capture the complexities of the aroma.
If the smell of a wine resembles that of vinegar, mould or old newspaper, it is not good to drink. Most wines have the scent of dark fruit like plum or blackberries with a hint of oak. This reflects ripe wine that is ready for drinking.
Going for the First Sip
Do not gulp your wine. Take a sip and use your tongue to get the full flavour and texture. Then, open your lips slightly and inhale. Make a gentle chewing motion and slosh the wine around your mouth. This gives you the full experience of the wine’s taste.
Ask yourself: was the wine rough, dry or dusty? Or was it velvety, lush or silky? Does it feel coarse against your tongue or does it glide down your throat smoothly?
Tasting and enjoying wine is a worldly passion.
At Margaret River’s best wineries, you’ll have an experience you will never forget. Unwind with us at The Berry Farm. Enjoy a splendid view of the garden while sipping on our finest fortified wines and sparklings. Call us on 61 89 757 5054 or visit us today.