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Embrace Your Wine Palate

Wine bars in Ottawa are a great way to develop your tasting skills.

Wine Bar Ottawa’s Tips For Tasting

As beautiful as it may be to take a trip to Prince Edward County, you can have an enjoyable wine tasting experience close to home at an wine bar in Ottawa. Tasting wine is a pleasurable experience, especially when wine is paired with tasty foods. Best of all, it doesn’t take much to develop and appreciate your palate for wine — all you need is a sense of smell and taste, and a memory for flavour profiles.

The next time you’re at a wine bar in Ottawa, consider these tips for tasting wine and embracing your palate:

The 5 Palate Tastes

When tasting wine, remember these five palate tastes:

  • Bitter – Bitter tastes occurs on the mid-back of your tongue/palate. In wine, the bitterness is associated with the tannins in the wine.
  • Salty – Salt is tasted on the front and sides of your palate. Saltiness in wine is called salinity, and is due to the mineral content of the wine.
  • Sour – Sour taste is centred on the tongue/palate, and the mid-sides. With wine, sourness is due to the acidity of the wine.
  • Sweet – The front of your tongue and palate host the sweet taste receptors. In wine, sweetness is often confused with fruitiness. Dessert wines are an example of truly sweet wines.
  • Umami – Savoury—or “yummy” in Japanese—is a delicious combination of tastes, smells, and flavour profiles.

These tastes are important to recognize and keep track of when tasting wines and pairing foods.

The 6 Steps to Tasting Wine

For a fulfilling wine tasting experience, rely on your palate and follow these steps:

  1. Take your time. Go slowly to pick up more smells, flavours, and to savour the wine.
  2. Look, smell, and then taste. Observe the wine’s colour. Swirl the glass to release the wine’s aroma, and then stick your nose in the glass to smell it. Take a sip, allow the wine to rest in your mouth, and breathe in the flavours.
  3. Close your eyes and visualize. If your eyes are closed when smelling and tasting a wine, you will be able to visualize the flavour profiles without distraction.
  4. Identify multiple flavours. Once you’ve visualized and identified one flavour, move on to the next flavour. Try to identify as many flavours as you can, and write them down.
  5. Identify body and texture. Aside from the initial flavours, a wine’s body and texture also adds to the flavour. Move your tongue around to identify the body, texture, and flavours, and where they hit most on your palate.
  6. Remember the wine. Take notes of the flavours, body, and texture. This will help you to build a working wine memory and remember which wines are your favourites.

The best and final way to improve your wine palate is to visit Ottawa wine bars and taste more wines!