The assessment of the quality of wines is conditioned by several factors, such as grape varieties, the winemaking methods that were used and the wine’s origin.
One starts by glancing the appearance, the colour, the foam, the odour and the taste; a comparison between the observed elements is then established, a process whose final stage is the conclusion, which is subjective one of course, as it always depends on the person who is making it. But this is a deeply complex process. It is a true ritual which requires proper experience to fulfil all the procedures, as well as in-depth knowledge of the specific lingo associated with the activity.
• Slowly pour the wine into the glass until reaching a third of its capacity; analyse the limpidity.
• Position the glass at eye level, in order to be able to observe it; position it as well at waist level, looking at it from top to bottom (the glass should be held by its stem).
• make notes about the limpidity and brightness.
• analyze the presence or not of carbon dioxide bubbles.
• try to accurately define its colour, hues and intensity.
• tilt the glass, to make the wine rinse its walls; smell it, by deeply inhaling it.
• write down unusual odours.
• carry out the two previous steps.
• look for the perfumes, the aroma and the bouquet.
• moist the whole mouth with a tiny sip of wine; repeat the step and remain focused.
• look for the dominating taste and the final taste.
The wine must be chosen beforehand and always according to the dish that will accompany it. This issue depends predominantly on the sensitivity of each person, however some ideas can be stressed out:
One should opt for the same wine during the meal itself (or a wine from the same area of origin). If several wines are chosen during the process, these should be drank starting with the youngest and then moving to the oldest.
In a meal in which different wines are served, follow the change by drinking water – in order to “zero the mouth”.
White and Sparkling wines must be served cold, although not in excess, in order to avoid disguising their qualities. Hence, it is advisable to serve white wines between a temperature that ranges from 8ºC to 12ºC and the sparkling wines never below a temperature of 4ºC.
Red wines must be drank at room temperature, as long as this lies between 14ºC and the 18ºC.
It is advisable to serve Liqueur Wines in a temperature range between 16ºC and 18ºC.
This point tends to be a bit controversial, with some advocating that red wines must be opened an hour before its consumption, to allow them to breathe and release all their qualities. Others stand for the idea that the moment of the opening is totally irrelevant.
The need for an early opening must be addressed individually, nonetheless it is advisable to do it with wines that have been subjected to long bottle-aging periods. Furthermore, if reduction aromas or the presence of deposit is detected, the execution of a proper decanting may be needed.
The presence of a wine cellar creates the opportunity for the wine to be stored and conserved under ideal conditions, in order to be enjoyed posteriorly, without putting its qualities in jeopardy.
The conservation site must fulfil certain requirements:
• Be ventilated
• Relatively damped
• Without major annual and daily temperature ranges
• Without any sort of trepidation, at the risk of losing the wines
• Be silent and dim (the excess of light changes the colour and the aroma of wines)
• The temperature in the wine cellar must vary between the 10ºC and the 12ºC, with it never exceeding the 15ºC. Low temperatures delay the maturing process and high temperatures erode the wines. The presence of labels for each wine allows an easier identification of these, being necessary to update those same labels every time a wine is tasted, therefore keeping the data updated.