Becoming a wine expert is not as difficult as you might think. What you will need, apart from sheer enthusiasm, is a combination of some straight forward wine skills. These come in the form of an ability to decipher and provide accurate tasting notes, read and fully understand wine labels and at least know what countries around the world produce wines. You can also get more info about wine-tasting via various online sources.
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A few pointers to keep in mind:
- Read back labels to learn about the wines themselves.
- Talk to shop staff or even to other customers for their opinion.
- Is the alcohol level high for the wine in question or would you prefer it to be a little lower?
Most wine clubs hold regular wine tastings and show an array of different wines at each tasting event. The benefits here are that you will be tutored in the tasting by experts, and your fellow enthusiasts will be able to offer invaluable advice.
Most importantly, you will begin to familiarise yourself with all those well-known wine adjectives and phrases that are so much in use, like "delicate style with hints of gooseberries on the nose" or "mature red with blackcurrant fruit flavours".
Before tasting a wine check its colour and condition, this will enable you to assess its age. If it is too dark a colour then beware as this could mean that some oxidation may have taken place which is not a good thing.
The second judgement that should be made regards the clarity of the wine, it should be brilliant and clear – cloudy or otherwise could mean that yeast exists in the wine resulting in its instability. The flavour or off-flavour would be very obvious even to an untrained nose.