Tag Archives: wine

Rachel Chimera on Discerning Wine Qualities

27 Jan

You don’t have to be a sommelier to be able to judge a good wine from a not-so-good one. And you certainly don’t have to take a wine expert’s word on quality, since everyone’s tastes are different. The best way to please your palate is to discover what it is you like in a wine, and, once you’ve found it, know how to find those qualities in the future. Here are some standards to keep in mind:

1. Balance-Identifying balance in a wine means determining which, if any, components stand out. The main components to consider are sweetness, acidity, alcohol, and tannin, the residual, slightly bitter-tasting skin of a grape.

2. Complexity-Wines can be somewhat flat, or they can prove more complex, offering a multiplicity of aromas and flavors. One wine might offer notes of black currant or apple, while others might be rather simple and straightforward.

3. Finish-This is the “aftertaste,” or the final impression a wine leaves you with after you’ve swallowed it. Wines can finish “hot,” indicating high alcohol content, or “bitter,” suggesting too much tannin.

Again, the quality of a wine is not absolute. It all depends on who is doing the tasting.

About the Author:
Rachel Chimera has previously worked in the wine/bar industry for many years. An ardent wine enthusiast, she is particularly fond of Italian white wines, champagne, and French Burgundies.