Friday, May 27, 2011

What I have learnt from the wine tasting sessions

The Scenic Wine Tasting Tour has given me an introduction to wine appreciation. I still prefer to avoid drinking alcohol for health reasons. Nevertheless, the wine-tasting sessions at Hunter Valley have been an interesting experience.

I shall attempt to share as a novice what I have learnt from the wine-tasting sessions. I visited wikipedia and learnt that "wine tasting is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine".

In wine tasting, there are four recognised stages:
1) The appearance of the wine.
2) The aroma of the wine.
3) The "in mouth" sensation of the wine.
4) The aftertaste.

You would notice that to enhance the assessor's aromatic experience of the wine, the shape of most wineglasses are typically wider toward the bottom, and more narrow at the top.

I noticed that the professional staff members at the wineries who had attended to us would taste the wine in five basic steps. These are:

1) See the colour.
2) Swirl the wine.
3) Sniff the aroma of the wine.
4) Sip and taste the wine.
5) Savour the wine.

Caesar Salad with Prosciutto and Shaved Parmesan.

I realised that wine can greatly enhance and complement a meal during the special lunch that was arranged for the tour group. The lunch was a wonderful tasting experience. We were treated to various food served with four different kinds of wine to mix and match.

I learnt that semillon, which has a citrus-like flavour goes best with seafood. It is also best drank when the wine is young. Generally semillon last between 15 to 35 years.

Chardonnay, which is a white wine, was a good complement with Caesar Salad that we had for our lunch. I learnt that Chardonnay generally does not last well more than 10 years.

Read wines seem to go very well with Italian pasta. Shiraz is a red-wine variety that has a prominent red colour, I recall. It is also the oldest growing variety in Hunter Valley. Penne Pasta when complemented with Shiraz tasted perfect.

Penne Pasta with Vine Ripened Tomatoes, Roasted Olives & Baby Capers.

Wine-tasting is quite an art itself. I am glad to have a pleasant introduction to it at Hunter Valley.


All the photos on this post were taken using a Canon Digital IXUS 1000HS camera.


goldilocks said...

too bad you can't be my drinking kaki =P

oceanskies79 said...

Goldilocks: Yes....most likely I can't oblige. Interestingly, I write about wine here yet have to refrain from drinking!