A common ritual in both wine tasting and fine dining is to cleanse the palate. The theory is that it is easier to appreciate all the complex and varied flavors that you are sampling if you clear one taste from your senses before attempting the next. Begin your wine tasting with a clean sense of taste and smell. For at least an hour before the wine tasting, avoid coffee, smoking, and any strong tastes or odors. Do not use scented deodorants or perfumes. Even the tingly mint freshness after brushing your teeth will interfere strongly with the taste of the wine. This is why upscale restaurants, pour water into the glass that has a hint of lemon, to cleanse your palette and prepare you for good tastes to come.
To help cleanse your palate between wine tasting, here are some tips for how to taste wine: When tasting, begin with the lighter offerings and work your way up to the heavier, headier choices. Allow time to appreciate each glass of wine, its appearance, aroma, taste, and after taste, and then more time to clear the palette before the next glass of wine is presented. You should eat white bread or crackers and sip unflavored water between tastings. A spoonful of lime sorbet can also be used to cleanse the palette, but you should wait a couple of minutes before introducing the next wine. The freezing cold of the sorbet cleanses the taste buds and temporarily numbs them. This is also the reason water should be served cool, not ice cold. Avoid other fruit sorbets, which can leave a fruity aftertaste. Pause between tasting each of the wines to allow your palate to breathe.
When you clear your moth from one wine tasting, you will have a better appreciation for the next tasting. After the tasting, wait to have a meal as any foods that you eat after a wine sampling will affect its taste. In addition, skip any mints, gum or candy until after the tasting. After tasting each glass of wine, professional wine tasters spit it out, which enables them taste as many as fifty different types of wines without getting too tipsy. However, at social wine tastings, you may wish to fully savor each glass of wine. Therefore, you should limit your tasting flight to not more than eight distinct wines.
At a social wine tasting, you may find more substantial snacks, ranging from an array of cheeses and fruits all the way to bacon-wrapped scallops and Swedish meatballs. Another popular social combination is to combine the wine tasting with chocolate and fruits such as strawberries. These work if the primary purpose of the outing is to enjoy a little wine and some while n the company of friends. However, if your purpose is to appreciate the wine on its own merits, do not eat snacks except for plain crackers as foods have their own flavors and alter the taste of the wine.
Knowing how to taste wine is important so that you can enjoy the experience and savor the taste.