Monday, May 16, 2016

Unlike water, wine always has an aftertaste, a finish - however long or short. 'The Wine Finish'... Let’s try to explain a few things about it!

Different people like different flavors in their red wines.

People like their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah and their higher tannins seem to have much longer textures with the higher alcohol content.
Yet, there is an equal amount if not more folks liking lower tannin wines that do not elicit such an astringent mouthfeel such as Pinot Noir and Malbec.

When you drink wine and the aftertaste lingers. It is often a major indicator of a wines quality. There have been economic studies on this trying to find real conclusions and the debate goes on. Wine Finish really remains an understudied area in wine; but it is very related to the well-studied qualities of wine aroma and flavor. We know that.
Let’s try to explain a few things about it!

As much as wine lovers would love it to be socially acceptable to simply hold and swish wine in the mouth for hours on end...we know its unrealistic (okay, a little weird to the regular person too...).

But who wants to give up on all those great wine flavors? No one! That's why a pleasant and memorable aftertaste is so important.

Unlike water, wine always has an aftertaste, a finish - however long or short. The wine components like sugars, acids, ethanol and tannin influence the perception of aroma and flavor in red wine and thus the ending of the wine.

The better the wine finish, the longer the wine's flavor and tastes linger in your mouth and memory after swallowing a sip. So how do describe this sensation? How do you tell folks what the finish is like?
For me, a really great wine finish often stays on my mind for a while. Sometimes days or months even years later recalling the finish and remembering the exact moment you had the sensation and the wine. Probably because so many of the senses are engaged. That's another story though...

In the same way; there is a very appropriate wine quote from Maynard A. Amerine who was one of the most significant wine scientists in the past century and it goes… "The fine wine leaves you with something pleasant; the ordinary wine just leaves."  

Just what is it that you taste at the end? How do you explain it? You are already thinking about how to describe the aromas and the flavors you just picked up while you are smelling and tasting!

Which brings us to the finish line...Ha!  OK, let’s get into some descriptors for the Wine Finish

  • acidic
  • aftertaste
  • bitter
  • chocolate
  • clean
  • clipped at the end
  • crispy
  • dry
  • earthy
  • fruity
  • hot
  • lemon
  • lingering
  • long minerality
  • minty
  • oak
  • prolonged
  • persistent
  • short
  • sweet
  • tannic
  • vanilla
  • woody
  • Dusty