Wine Tasting 101

Wine Tasting 101

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Winemaking is an old and noble craft, with archaeological evidence revealing the art of fermenting juice dating back to 6000 BC. Today, wine is produced all over the world, with the BC Okanagan region becoming renowned as a world-class producer of award-winning wines.

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is proud to celebrate the remarkable BC wine industry with several wine events including our popular weekly BC wine tasting sessions that start Thursday June 7 and run weekly through the summer. A new Wine Paired Dinner Series — featuring the wines of four respected BC wineries also starts in June. June 22 features Mission Hill Family Estate Vineyard, July 21 features Monster Vineyards, August 18 features Summerhill Estate Vineyards and September 21 features Desert Hills Estate Winery. The highlight of all our BC wine events is the East Kootenay Wine Festival, with the 11th Annual event taking place November 2 and 3, 2012.

With so many opportunities to enjoy and learn about wine, here are some useful wine tasting tips to assist newcomers to wine tasting, courtesy of our friends at Winemates:

  1. Pour wine half full in glass
  2. Hold the glass up to view the colours. Wine should reflect proper colour for maturity. For white, deep colour indicates sweet wine (sweet wines tend to age better); rich colour indicates rich wine. For reds, deep colour indicates full body; warm colour indicates warm wine.
  3. Swirl slightly to release aroma. Lift to nose and take a gentle deep sniff. Aroma intensity and quality reflects intensity and quality of taste (eg. weak ordinary aroma = weak ordinary taste).
  4. Sip a mouthful of wine. Swish around all parts of mouth, and then swallow. White wine taste is based on sweetness and acidity. Red wine taste is based on sweetness, acidity, and tannin. Sweetness and acidity depend on the grapes used.

Some things to look out for when you are determining wine aroma:

  • Aroma Intensity: weak, medium, aromatic, highly aromatic
  • Quality: ordinary or elegant, agreeable or disagreeable, simple or complex, 
  • Character: floral (rose, hawthorn violet), fruity (citrus, pineapple, raspberry, cherry, apple, pear) spicy (clove, cinnamon, pepper), nutty (almond, hazlenut, walnut), earthy (truffle, mushroom, leaves)

Be adventurous and have fun discovering everything that BC wine has to offer. Next time you are ordering wine in a restaurant or purchasing a bottle to take home, why not try something new from one of the many exciting BC wineries.

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