Now that I’ve told you my prime reason for tasting wines, let’s move on to the process. After you’ve selected the wine to sample, how do we approach it.
- Serving temperature:
You will hear varying discussions on this, but the best rule of thumb is mean gradient temperature – earth’s temp. Most food is preserved best at this level of degrees… Root cellars, Cape Cod cellars, wine cellars are traditionally underground for this reason. Since wine is a food, this works quite nicely – whites could be a little cooler and reds a little less cool for reasons to be explained later.
- Bottle prep:
Preparing the bottle for disgorging is more important for older wines than newer ones but it is always good practice on all the bottles that you open and might as well be done properly every time. First, with the bottle held firmly on a flat stable surface, insert the pigtail of the screw with a light hammer like pounding motion, then, turn the bottle thus inviting deep penetration.
Once the screw grasps at least 90% of the cork, begin the removal process, starting with a firm even leverage and increasing until the cork slips out with ease. Many will look at the cork. Why, you might ask? Well, the cork will tell it’s own story. How was the bottle stored? Is there a stain along the outside edge and what does it mean? Also (come to think about it), why did the gentleman sitting next to us at the restaurant last week tell the waiter to “Dice it and put it in my salad”?
The wine is now ready to be presented. The pouring process and the tasting regime will be explained in the next post.
Thanks for stopping by, see you again soon,