“The Everyday Guide to Wine” — The Basics

I am convinced that even when my many years of schooling are complete, I will never stop being a student. Working in the medical field that is pretty much a requirement, but I think it applies to other aspects of my life as well. There is so much to learn about the world and we are really only here for a short time in the big scheme of things. Partnering with National Geographic, The Culinary Institute of America, and the Smithsonian, ‘The Great Courses’ have a huge collection of video courses taught by world famous professors to feed the curious nature many others and I posses. In this wine course I learned from Master of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits Jennifer Simonettie-Bryan.

Health Benefits

- 1–2 glasses of white wine a night can reduce your risk of heart disease.

- 1–2 glasses of red wine a night can reduce your risk of heart disease, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

5 S’s of Wine Tasting

1) See — notice different shades of red and white

2) Swirl — releases aromas from the wine into the glass so you can smell it better

3) Sniff — “chest, chin, nose test” the further away you can smell the wine the more aromatic it is; smelling the wine will help you distinguish new flavors you can’t tell from sipping alone

4) Sip — swirl around your mouth to activate different areas of your tongue sensitive to different flavors

5) Savor — enjoy the taste after the wine has left your mouth; the length of time and flavor that lingers is indicative of a quality wine

Wine Components

- Fruit (Dry or Sweet): typically perceived at the tip of your tongue

- Acidity: perceived as sour on the outer edge of your tongue

- Tannin (Bitter): drying sensation on the middle of your tongue (pleasant with balance)

- Alcohol: warming sensation through mouth

Good Quality Wine

- Finesse: smooth regardless of body

- Balance: fruit, acid, tannin, and alcohol working together nicely

- Length: the longer the flavor lasts after you swallow, the higher the quality

- Finish: the wine’s flavor finally leaving your tongue should be pleasant

- Complexity: the more layers of flavor you get, the higher the quality

Wine Terms

Aromatic — wines that are generally very fruity and have a high scent

Legs — the residue wine that drips down your glass after swirling (supposedly indicative of quality wine)

Complexity — layers of flavors (the more layers the higher quality of wine)

Body — how viscous the wine is (think heavy cream vs. skim milk)

Light Body/Thin — dilute in flavor

Full Body/Broad — packed with flavor

Bright/Crisp — high acidity

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Originally published at www.sssyrah.com on November 12, 2014.