With measures still in place restricting us from seeing and sharing an aperitif with our loved ones right now, it has forced us all to get more creative in the way we socialise. Whether that has been hosting virtual quizzes, dinners or following cook-along’s it is pushing us to try new things. Another way to have some fun while we are unable to go out is by hosting a virtual wine tasting.
Firstly, it is important to remember that there is no right or wrong in wine tasting and that a good wine is a wine you like. It is very much personal and wine tasting is about discovering and learning rather than being rigid in rules. Generally speaking, it’s best to find a common theme for a tasting, such as different wines from the same region, or by grape variety.
A little planning is required but once you have made your selection of wines, here are a couple of tips to help you in hosting a wine tasting.
Surfaces and smells
The colour and smell of a wine both play an important role in the tasting. To help identify the scent and observe the colour it is key to have a white or very pale surface to observe the wines on. A white or pale tablecloth over a flat surface will do the job perfectly. It is also important to make sure that there are no strong scents to interfere with your tasting, whether that be diffusers and scented candles burning while you are tasting or cooking aromas from the next room.
The easiest rule for wine tasting to remember is to have a glass that has a relatively wide surface at the bottom, where the wine is, and a narrower opening at the top to concentrate the aromas, where your nose will be.
When you are doing a winetasting it can be nice idea to have a couple of snacks on the side to enjoy alongside but equally to help cleanse your palate. Toasted bread, some hard cheeses, cured meats and crudités with dips all work well, just be careful not to choose something too overpowering in flavour, which can distract your taste buds.
One question we get asked the most about rosé is what temperature it should be served at. Typically, we would suggest a serving temperature of around 10-12 C. We have a habit of over-chilling our wines in the fridge but for the best aromas it’s a good idea to get them out of the fridge 15-20 minutes ahead of time.
Lastly to make it a little bit more fun, if you fancy, you can keep tasting notes to compare and talk about as you go along or afterwards. There are plenty of examples and templates online that are ready for you to use. These will allow you to have some fun in describing the wines and rating them in respect to colour, smell and taste.