Five Senses for Wine Tasting

Hearing: This sense plays an unexpectedly important role as the very first information about wine is gathered through the noise we hear as we pour it in a glass.

Sight: Wine isn’t just red or white: color, intensity, vivacity, limpidity as well as consistency and fluidity tell us a lot about it. 

Smell: We have hundreds of olfactory receptors, each one binding to a particular molecular feature, which should make us distinguish between as many as 10,000 different smells. Experience is very important: many of the smells we find in wine seem somehow familiar though we cannot name them cause they’ve not been “labeled” in our brain before. Once our smell is well-trained, we’ll be able to understand many more characteristics of a wine!

Taste: This is much easier to understand and practice: we receive and recognize tastes through sensory organs called taste buds, concentrated on the upper surface of the tongue: there are five basic tastes: sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami. The part of the tongue which is most sensitive to sweetness is the tip, whereas the bitter flavours are most strongly tasted at the back of it; sour and salty are mostly perceived at the side. In a good wine we always look for a good balance of each taste compared to each other.

Touch: Wine offers a wide spectrum of tactile sensations: just think about the prickliness of a sparkling wine, the pseudo-warmth sensation given by alcohol, the real service temperature, the astringency provided by tannins and the velvety sensation given by sugars and polyalcohols… each one helps us describe the wine and understand its characteristics.

What to look for in a five senses wine tasting? Balance. Balance between each sense and each sense’s perception. 

Article inspired by a work by Roberto Leone Pericci. Read full article here: http://www.sensethewine.com/five-senses-and-wine-tasting/