Let’s make one thing clear. ‘Good wine’ is neither expensive, nor old. Cork or Screwcap doesn’t matter either. A screwcap only means that the wine is committed to quality right there and then.
If that the case…. What makes for a good bottle of wine? How do I pick?
There are so many! California Wine, French wine, Wine from Spain...etc.
Let's go for the basics on this one.
The general tasting rules of Swirl, Smell and Taste are a start, but there's more to learn when figuring out if a wine is worthy of your taste and money. So, let’s take a moment to get into it a little bit.
Look at the backside of the bottle.
Sometimes first appearance isn't everything. Front labels can be tempting, but check out the full package before you buy. Also, the back labels usually have more information about a wine. These days, there are some clues about the wine like fruits, flavors, the aging process, importers and the wine region. Keep an eye out for any stamps of approval like awards or reviews—all signs of a currently popular wine. Go ahead and ask for recommendations. Don't be afraid! "Ask the wine steward or a find a wine friend for a recommendation to help make your selection," says Peter Click, president and founder of The Click Wine Group (Fat Bastard Wines). I read in a men’s magazine; If you're on a date, almost always the woman you are with will appreciate your modesty, openness and refuge to ask for assistance from a trusted expert. * Quick Hint…It’s probably one of the easiest times for a man to show humbleness to a woman….LOL ;-)
…Anyways, asking questions is a good thing.
Swirl and smell the wine.
Here's where two fun rules of wine tasting 101 come into play. Does it have nice legs? You know; those lean teardrop lines of liquid that slowly drip down the sides of the glass. Legs don’t mean much when it comes to determining a good wine, but it gives you a clue on its alcohol content. Also, Smell it. always smell. Believe it or not; Tasting is mostly from the nose….
Okay. What do you smell? Honey? Cherries? Apple? Vanilla, Oak, Earthiness? I’ll bet, the more you smell, the better the wine may taste. If it’s juicy and you pick up two or of three types of fruits or aromas or things your nose knows you’re going to like the wine. What’s weird is even if the smell is something totally out of this world. It could make the wine interesting. I am a big proponent of smelling and swirling a lot; the taste is confirming your senses.
So, you see ‘Good wine’ is the combination of all that. So, when you are doing all of this and you think the wine is bad. It probably is, unless there is something else going on making the wine too complex to enjoy right there and then. (And that can be a lot of serious educated info too, remember wines been made for thousands of years).
Taste the wine.
Once you've swirled and smelled your way around the glass, go in for the sip. Let the juice move around your tongue. So yeah wine is pretty sexy … It requires you to focus …
Do you taste dark cherries, plums, grapefruit, minerals, earthiness? Use your taste buds to figure out how many diverse flavors you can pick up on. Guess…
*Quick Hint: as long as the wine is in balance and isn't nasty-smelling, the more you can taste the more complex the wine is. It’s not always that straight forward. But it gives you an idea.
If it’s not in balance you will taste more acidity or more oak or more fruit. But when all the flavors stay on your tongue for some time, it’s awesome! Basically, if fruit flavors like plums, blackberry, cherry, raspberry, citrus, peaches, melons fill your tongue and the finish lingers in your mouth know you've got a ‘good wine’.