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The Five Senses of Wine Tasting

As I started to think about how the five senses impact a wine tasting, I was challenged to find out how touch impacts wine. You can always touch a wine and hopefully you will feel that it is wet and in some cases you may even feel a little sediment in the touch. But how boring would that be to write about how much sediment you can touch?

Then thankfully, my husband pointed out that wine tasting is not always about the wine. In my husband’s opinion, touch is just as important as the other senses when it comes to wine tasting. It’s in the style of the wine glass, the weight of the bottle, even the type of cork.  I’ve talked a few times about the different styles of corks, or in some horrifying cases – the style of screw caps, but when you go out for a nicer dinner, usually the first thing you touch is the cork. If the cork is brittle or rough to touch, that gives you the first impression of the wine. Or as I have mentioned, if it is screw cap, I instantly feel that the wine will not be a good wine.

The next important area of touch is my husband’s worst nightmare – the type of wine glass the wine is served in. If you walk into a wine tasting and wine is being served in plastic cups, the perception you get from touching the cup is the wine has poor quality. I’ll save the discussion between plastic and glass for another day, but if you are served wine in a crystal glass as compared to a plastic cup, you have a tendency to drink the wine faster in a plastic cup. When you have a fancy wine glass in front of you, you tend to sit and enjoy the wine.

Finally, the other main reason touch is so important is when it comes to holding the bottle. If the bottle is heavier, it is believed the quality of the wine is better. Also, if you touch the bottom of the bottle and notice that is has a punt (an indentation in the bottom of the bottle – mainly seen in champagne or wine bottles used for drier wines) the perception from that touch is the wine is a drier, better quality wine.

Granted, there are times where touch does not correlate to the quality of the wine (as I have seen in some very good wines with a screw cap), but for a split second, touch will change my perception of a wine.

Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Road, Garrettsville. For more information on other winery topics, please visit www.candlelightwinery.com

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