Singapore’s announcement of the Vaccinated Travel Lane in conjunction with European countries has excited many. For the first time in almost two years, the hope of a holiday overseas isn’t just a pipedream anymore. Getaways to exotic destinations like France and Italy are now an actual possibility, and we can’t think of a better way to kick off a holiday than with a wine-tasting.
1. How to Dress for a Wine Tasting
Anyone that has ever gotten a spill of wine on their clothes knows how painstakingly difficult it is to wash out. Our first tip is to dress in dark colours in case of spills, which will inevitably happen considering you’re in for a night of inadvertent inebriation. Decide on the tone of your outfit by sussing out the venue(s) in advance, to make sure that you’re neither overdressed nor underdressed. A jacket makes all the difference indoors versus outdoors.
If you’re on a wine tasting tour, consider comfortable shoes because chances are it’ll involve a lot of walking amongst vineyards and distilleries. For wine tasting acolytes who take themselves seriously, consider carrying a small bag or purse to keep a notebook for taking notes on tastings. This also doubles up by allowing you to have a place to store phone and water while touring the beautiful sights.
2. Eat Beforehand
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach is not only bad for your digestive health, but it’ll most likely knock you out early. Of course, if we were having just the odd glass or two, that would probably be acceptable. However, most tastings run anywhere from eight to ten different glasses of wine, which implies that drinking without any food will cause you to get prematurely drunk and put an end to your night.
Most wine tastings offer food in between drinks to avoid this very unceremonious welcome, which you should not feel shy to take full advantage of. In fact, many wine tasting tours design food menus to be paired with specific wines on offer to enhance its flavour and the overall wine tasting experience. Apart from food, it is also key to stay hydrated even if you aren’t travelling from point to point tasting wines. Alcohol is a diuretic and dehydrates the body, so if you want to avoid a wicked hangover the next day it’s best to keep your non-alcoholic fluids topped up.
You might have seen videos of fancy sommeliers swirling the wine around the glass and sniffing it to determine if it’s any good. I promise you that isn’t just to appear snobby. There is indeed a technique to tasting wine and these key points should help you avoid looking like an amateur.
First off, the best way to hold a glass of wine is by the stem and not the bowl. Holding it via the bowl leaves greasy fingerprints and potentially affects the temperature of the wine, hurting the entire drinking experience. Next, before tasting the wine, it is important to take a deep breath of the aroma within the glass. Experts refer to this as the nose, and how a wine smells greatly affects your palette as the wine enters your mouth. It is also at this step that the wine glass should be swirled, to allow the wine’s aromas to attach to the oxygen and give it a stronger nose. Lastly, as you sip the wine, swirl it in your mouth and ensure it touches all surfaces. Different parts of your mouth have different endings which pick up a wide spectrum of flavours and textures. Follow these steps to a tee and you should appear to know what you’re doing with minimal effort.
On a parting note, it is also crucial that wines are consumed in a specific order. White wines and wines with higher acidity should be tasted first before moving on to the heavier bodied reds. The logic behind this is simple - heavy-bodied reds often leave a strong aftertaste and cloud the palette from fully appreciating the more subtle white wines.
Still worried about appearing silly at your next wine tasting? Choose from our wide selection of wines from across the world today. Paired with tasting notes to let you know exactly what to expect, Jarbarlar’s online liquor store is the perfect place to begin your wine tasting journey.