When it comes to wine tasting several factors play a role.
A judge’s palate is affected by what she or he had earlier, the time of day, their mood, their emotional conditions , their health , even the weather.
Temperature plays a big part. Volatiles in wine are more active when wine is warmer.
Serve a New World chardonnay too cold and you’ll only taste the overpowering oak. Serve a red too warm and the heady boozy qualities will be overpowering.
Personally I tasted a number of wines costing hundreds of euro that have disappointed me and a number costing between 5 and 10 euro which have been absolutely surprising.
In a sneaky study in the University of Bordeaux a PhD student dyed a white wine red and gave it to 54 oenology (wine science) students. The supposedly expert panel overwhelmingly described the beverage like they would a red wine. They were completely fooled.
In other words unpredictability means that human scores of wines are of limited value.
Wine tasting is an imperfect science, I’m a believer that everyone has the same equipment and it comes down to learning how to interpret and show the feelings we get from the sip.
Working for 15 years in the hospitality industry I deal with a lot of people that immediately say they don’t know anything about wine and throw themselves at your feet. Others are defensive about what they do know and don’t want anyone to tell them anything.
Because of the technical words used to decribe it ( crispy, creamy, velvety, savoury ) wine often seems like something you practically need a degree in to enjoy. It’s really more algebra than astrophysics,
Wine is way easier than how some people try to describe it.
It is just about changing the way to approach it, learning the technical words connected to specific feeling, without forgetting to enjoy and play with it.
In my personal approach wine is not a sophisticated item to judge and rate, is first part of a meal.
There is no point to judge wine without considering a food pairing and viceversa, ordering it should be as fun as ordering ice cream.
Wine shouldn’t be mysterious or scary.
No one can teach you ‘wine’.
After thousand of tastings I still feel like there is a world to be discovered and several things to be learnt.
I deal with any kind of glass with the same curiosity and enthusiasm.
The big difference since I became a sommelier is that I know exactly how to approach a tasting and I could develop my own conscious taste.
I know exactly what I like, what I want to focus on, what to expect from a certain kind of wine from a certain part of the world, I enjoy reading a wine list when I am at the restaurant, I travel for wine.
In other words you can really enjoy the whole pleasure of a wine experience just if you got the instruments to understand it.
My goal is to give you the basic knowledge to approach this personal journey with the right tools.
After just few hours you will be able to sit in front of any kind of wine glass without being intimidated by it, to read any kind of wine lists and choose the wine that matches well with your meal.
We are going to isolate and detect the specific components of the tasted wine ( sugar, alcohol, acidity, tannins, texture, saltiness ) and use them to find the perfect pairing with food.
Since learning wine is about drinking it our glass will be always full during the course.
We will go through 4 tastings ( 1 sparkling, 1 white, 1 red and 1 dessert wine ).
You will get used to apply the famous ‘see swirl smell sip savor’ formula.
Lesson will take place in my restaurant ‘La Maschera del Lillotatini’ , nominated one of the 10 best Italian restaurant in the Netherlands, and will be followed by a special 4 courses menu made for the occasion by our head chef.
The meal will be the occasion to keep playing with wines and find out the secrets of a perfect pairing.