Did you know we offer more than just amazing Ontario wine at our in-home tasting parties: we also bring a wealth of knowledge! And each party begins with going over the 4 S's - a super simple way to experience your wine at the next level, and to look like a pro at your next dinner party! So grab a glass and your fav bottle, and enjoy it like you never have before as we discuss the importance of Sight, Swirl, Sniff and Sip.
Sight: Have you ever really looked at your wine? I mean REALLY looked at it? Have you seen the beauty in your glass? It's pretty fantastic. It is so much more complex than simply "red wine" or "white wine". Red wine can be deep red, ruby red, blood red...it can look like cranberry juice or be a beautiful purple. White wine can be more clear, or yellow like straw, or perhaps it has green tones.
Now that we've seen the beauty of your wine, let's make sure there are no faults with it! Faults could be things like bits of cork, sediment, or a fogginess to it (although some less fermented wines are foggy on purpose).
Swirl: We've all seen the super classy character in the movie, perfectly poised, swirling their wine. It not only looks cool, and isn't just a wine snob move - it serves a very real purpose! All you need is a steady hand and a not-too-full wine glass. Giving your wine a good swirl around your glass allows it to become oxygenated, bringing the flavour and aroma molecules to life. Taking those few seconds to swirl before you begin to sip could greatly enhance your enjoyment. But before we sip...
Sniff: This one is as important when experiencing your wine as actually tasting it. Winemakers emphasize the "nose" experience as much as they do the "palate" experience. As the image shows, the more snug you can get your face against the glass, the better! Don't simply hover your nose over top - you want to only breath in "wine air". Take a few deep breaths, really think on what you are picking up: it may trigger some memories from experiences or your past. Fun fact: Try it again with your mouth open - it may smell different! Have fun with this one!
Finally, you get to taste your fabulous wine. The most important thing about this step: Do not judge it by the first sip or two! The flavour may be influenced by what you drank before, what you are eating, if you just brushed your teeth...so really let your mouth get used to it. And if all else fails, cleanse that palate! I say it a million times at our in-home tastings, plain bread and water are your best friend when you're tasting. Breath in your wine, gurgle it and slurp it if you feel it to be appropriate. But really, just enjoy it. Experience it. Take it slow, and enjoy your company. It's not a race to decide if you like it or not, or who can pick up the first fruity flavour on their palate. A lot of time, energy, passion, and care went into that bottle, and you should experience it the same way. Sip it, and savour it. Cheers!