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:
- Take your time. Go slowly to pick up more smells, flavours, and to savour the wine.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!