Tips for your tongue
(and your mouth & nose)
- Your Nose was made for sniffing wine. Don't be afraid of sticking it right into your glass and taking a few whiffs. Can't smell anything? Let the wine 'air out' in the glass for several minutes. The wine might also need to warm up a bit if it's been in your icebox for two weeks. If a wine smells like musty, wet cardboard, This might tell you it is "corked." A tainted cork can impart bad-smelling compunds into wine. It's harmless but you wouldn't want to drink a corked wine.
- Your Tongue & Mouth can tell you if a wine is balanced. If the wine has some sweetness to it, you can often sense it on the tongue's tip. If the wine is crisp or acidic, you feel it on the sides of your tongue and your mouth will begin to water. If the wine has significant alcohol content, the back of your tongue and throat will feel warm. Red wines often have tannins, which make your tongue and the roof of your mouth feel like they have been coated with something. Some tannins are sharp, others are soft. A well-balanced wine won't assault your tongue with only one of these sensations - it will feel "just right" (think: Goldilocks and porridge)
- Your Enjoyment doesn't hang on analyzing every wine you drink. Sometimes an unfamilliar or complex wine might demand more of your attention. Other times a wine might just taste good without any thinking. Both situations are great because you are enjoying your wine