1. The temperature of the wine
The temperature that a wine is served can greatly affect the way it tastes and smells and is one of the main elements to appreciate the potential of the product.

• An operating temperature below 5 ° C will definitely mute the nose of the wine and emphasis the perception of acid in white wines and tannic acid in red wines.

• If you consume a red wine above room temperature, that is to say at 20 ° C or 25 ° C, the alcohol, the volatile component, will smother the other aromas.

The rule is to serve the wines at the following temperatures:

6-8 ° C champagne or sparkling
8-12 ° C young and light white wine, sweet wine
10-14 ° C a white wine to keep
14-16 ° C young and light bodied red wine
16-18 ° C powerful red wine
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2. Visual examination
2.1 Colour

The wine should be viewed against a white background or light to observe the colour and clarity. For the colour, we can use a colour chart. For example, we can say pale yellow, golden yellow, amber ... for white wines, or purple, ruby, cherry ... for red wines.

The intensity is also a criterion to analyse from pale to intense through average, sustained, dark, deep ...

Tilt the wine glass away from you to expand the rim and note the colour of the wine from the edges to the middle. The difference is the colour that marks the rim at its boundary with the wine glass. It indicates the age of the wine. A young dry white wine will have a greenish hue, a red wine a purplish hue, or blue. With aging, the shade becomes amber or tiled. In the final stages of aging, white and red wines have almost the same colour of light mahogany.

2.2 Clarity (or transparency)


We generally use the terms clear, light, transparent or on the contrary muddy, broken, cloudy, warped, etc..

A cloudy wine is not necessarily a sign of default. A growing proportion of winemakers produce unfiltered wines as reported on the bottle. These are producers who feel that the slight disorder is a minor problem compared with the benefits: subtlety and complexity of flavours.

2.3 Viscosity


This is the fluid and mobile aspect that the wine presents when you spin the glass. Two points should be observed.

1. The rim (tilt the glass and observe the surface of the wine on the edge of the glass)
2. The streaks (formed on the wall of the glass after swirling). These streaks that stream down the glass are called the "tears" or "legs".

The legs and the thickness of the rim indicate the content of glycerol (fats), alcohol (ethanol) and sugars. If more legs are abundant then the content of glycerol / ethanol is high. If more legs are slow to drain, then the residual sugar content is high. This type of tasting concerns mainly the big wines, opulent and rich but also sweet and liqueur like wines.

2.4 Effervescence


The effervescence is due to the presence of CO2.

In a sparkling wine, we judge the speed and finesse of the bubbles, the persistence of release, keeping the cord of bubbles along the wall of the glass.
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3. The olfactory examination
First time (first nose) we sniff the still wine in the glass
Second time (second nose) after swirling, we sniff the wine in the glass

3.1 The aromas

There are 3 major categories of aromas:

• The primary aromas or aromas of the grape variety:
These are aromas that come from the grapes and are immediately observed without circular swirling of the glass. They are the potential fruity and floral aromas.

• The secondary aromas or aromas of fermentation:
They come from the alcoholic fermentation and are observed after circular swirling of the glass. They depend on the sugar content of grapes (degree of maturity). These are the smells of yeast, bread, bananas, English or sour sweets, nail varnish and solvents.

• The tertiary aromas or bouquet:
These are the aromas of aging. The wine with its fruity and floral character of his youth, will develop into notes of macerated fruit, dried fruit, candied nuances often associated with either mineral (usually for white wines) or animal (for red wines). In wines stored in barrels, we appreciate the woody note.
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4. Taste sensations
The taste receptor organs are mainly localized in the papillae of the tongue. These sensitive cells are distributed unevenly on the surface of the tongue. They are mainly collected at the end of the tongue and on the edges (they are absent in the central part).

4.1 Taste concepts

4.1.1 The four basic tastes

• Sweet:
o is perceived on the tip of the tongue;
o it is immediately apparent;
o the sensation reaches its maximum after two seconds and disappears after ten
seconds.

Interpretation: Sweetness gives at the same time elements of suppleness, body and softness. This is the most primitive flavour. The perception of sweetness decreases over time.

• Acid/Sour:
o is perceived on the sides and bottom of the tongue;
o it is immediately apparent;
o lingers as the salty taste;

Interpretation: acidity/sourness gives freshness.

• Salty
o is perceived on the sides of the tongue;
o it is quickly apparent
o lingers more than the sweet;

Interpretation: the salty flavour gives freshness and reveals the palatability.

• Bitter
o is perceived on the back of the tongue;
o slow to develop,
o increases and remains long.

Interpretation: the bitterness is often associated with a sensation of astringency (dryness of mouth) associated with the tannins.

4.1.2 Salivation


Acids will make your mouth water more than other tastes. Remember the best tasting foods make your mouth water more.

• Sweet: production of thick and viscous saliva;
• Sour: production of liquid and abundant saliva;
• Salty: no change in salivation;
• Bitter: decreased salivation and appearance of a certain dryness

4.1.3 The other taste sensations


• Tannins:
These are the solid parts in the wine (only in red), they constitute the "body" of the wine. The tannins in the mouth give relief, a tactile sensation on the tongue.

• Astringency:
The astringency causes dry mouth and gums and a feeling of roughness (rough tongue).

Interpretation: some tannins are not yet integrated in the body of the wine (due to youth) or the bitterness is due to a lack of ripeness at harvest time and / or presence of cobs.

• Fats:
It is the character of a smooth wine. The fats may help to soften the rough tannins of a red wine.

• Sparkling:
It is due to the presence of bubbles of CO2 released by alcoholic fermentation. It can be looked for in wine to give a bit of freshness. In a sparkling wine you search for the finesse and persistence of bubbles.

4.2 The gustatory analysis


To analyse a wine in the mouth, is to determine its attack, its balance, its evolution and its length.

4.2.1 Attack


The attack is the first sensation after one has swallowed the wine, it is still soft. The softness is provided by the alcohols contained in all wines and the residual sugars in the case of sweet wines. We can judge that a soft attack is short, medium or long. It will be long if the softness is important and / or the sour or bitter taste or astringency takes over gradually. The evaluation of the length of the soft attack is relative.

4.2.2 Evolution


During the tasting of a wine, we feel successive tastes. Often the last impression (bitter finish) may be very different from the first (soft attack). The analysis of the evolution of wine in the mouth (attack → evolution → finish) reflects the quality of a wine.

4.2.3 Length


The "length" is the time in seconds that the flavour lingers in the mouth. When the persistence of the aroma is no longer noticeable in the mouth, there is a recovery of salivation.

Interpretation: the more a wine will be long, the more interesting it will be to combine it with suitable foods. Indeed, there will be more space for the overlay of wine / food flavours.

4.2.4 The balance of wine in the mouth


After recognition and evaluation of the different tastes in wine, we must determine their power and especially their rapport. Their balance depends on the harmony of the constitution of the wine. When a wine is well balanced, the wine is said to have achieved a harmonious fusion It is the analysis of the balance of these components of the wine:

• soft (or sweet), sour and alcohol for white wines;
• soft, sour, tannins and alcohol for red wines.
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