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What do you need to know to do a wine tasting at home?

The way we consume wine is constantly evolving, and above all in these times of pandemic when we often want to make fun and original plans, but it is impossible for us because of the circumstances. T o solve this, nothing like making a different plan at home: Have you ever gone to a wine tasting? Would you dare you to do it at home? Whatever the answer, from Viña Olabarri we want to offer you a different proposal that you can adapt to your circumstances and share with your family and friends.

What kind of wines do you want to start with?

Choose a theme

Choosing a topic is essential. Do you prefer to make a tasting based on wines of a particular grape or perhaps wines of the same appellation? Do you prefer to taste different vintages? You set the guidelines but always take into account the preferences of your guests. To start making wine tastings and especially if you haven not done one before… What do you think about learning how to differentiate the hints between white wine, rosé and red? It will be a truly unforgettable experience.

Wine should always be ready in advance

As if you were a sommelier, you should leave all the bottles of wine ready beforehand. Keep in mind that each bottle will allow us to supply a group of 8 to 11 people (depending always on their characteristics, of course). The ideal is to focus the tasting on between 2 and 5 bottles of wine by writing down curious facts about each of them so that you can share them altogether afterwards.

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Essential accessories

As excellent professionals we cannot forget the tools needed for a good wine tasting: appropriate glasses, a corkscrew, some napkins and a bottle of water (very useful for refreshing the mouth and cleaning the palate). As for the glasses, it is better if they are made of transparent glass to favor the observation of the color and texture of the wine.

Wine temperature

You will not be surprised to know that each type of wine requires a different ideal temperature. In general, it is good to keep in mind that red wine is best tasted between 16º and 18º, while young wines, “crianzas” and white and rosé wines between 6º and 8º.

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How about a good assortment of snacks filled with dates, cheese, Iberian products, foie or different types of breads? Some elements, such as bread sticks are essential to clean the sensations from one wine to another. The presentation is very important but the quality of the products you choose is also important. Is your mouth watering already with so many delights?

Types of tastings

Whether you are familiar with the world of wine tasting or not, we bring a few ideas so that you can make a unique experience out of it:

  • Group quiz. If you are enough people (more than 6), it can be fun to split the group in two and run a series of questions after each tasting to test each attendee’s knowledge. To make everything perfect, nothing like preparing a card with the questions already written and to have ready a prize that will be taken home by the winner.
  • Blind tasting. The goal is to remove the label to the bottles of wine so as not to have all the information in advance, but what do you think if you go a step further and propose to blindfold your guests during the tasting? If we eliminate the sense of sight, the nuances of each wine will stand out more and pleasure will become more intense.
  • Tasting in pairs. If the tasting takes place between couples, that can be perfect too; the duo competition can be added without any problem to the idea of blind tasting to see if each of them agrees to give a concrete definition.

Some final thoughts

For an authentic evening, consider the following end points:

  • Parts of the tasting. Wine tastings are developed in three phases: the visual phase, the smelling phase and finally the tasting phase. In each of them you can exchange impressions and take notes.
  • Take care of the space. Try to make the tasting take place in a large room with enough natural light or, if not possible, artificial white light. This way you will be able to perfectly appreciate each color. You can also put a white background (a sheet of paper is enough) to appreciate the shades of the wine. On the other hand, it is necessary not to interfere with other intense aromas. If you have multiple air fresheners, it’s best to get rid of them for the tasting. A bit of classical music and you will have the ideal atmosphere for a gourmet event.
  • Tasting order. The wines are served from lesser to greater body and aromatic intensity so that the palate becomes accustomed and does not saturate ahead of time.

5 terms you must know to describe a wine

If you have been to a tasting before you will be familiar with some terms that will help you to describe a wine. Below, we show you the most frequent ones so that you can use them in your speech when showing the wines in the tasting.

  • Lingering at the palate. A lingering wine represents a continuous taste throughout the mouth, including palate and gums and a taste that lasts a while (more than 6 seconds) after swallowing it.
  • Good balance.A wine is balanced if its dimensions (acidity, sweetness, tannins or alcohol) integrate and complement each other, which is one of the factors to determine the quality of a wine.
  • Astringent. An astringent wine is one that causes a sensation of dryness and bitterness in the palate caused by the tannins that, among other characteristics, hinder salivation and bring a “rough” sensation to the tongue.
  • Fresh. A fresh wine does not refer to its temperature, but to the feeling of freshness left in the mouth because of the fruit and acidity of the wine. It is usually light, easy to drink and with good acidity.
  • Body. The body of a wine is the feeling of density and consistency, a feeling of “filling the mouth” as if the wine could be chewed.

And… voilà!, the perfect evening awaits you without even leaving home. If you follow our advice and your intuition, we are sure you will have so much fun that you will be looking forward to repeating the experience! What kind of wines do you want to start with?

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