How To Know The Difference Between Good Wine And Average Wine
We’ve already told you that there are two, very simple rules to wine drinking etiquette. What you now need to know is how to tell the difference between good wine and your average wine. So, you know the general tasting rule for wine; actually for any alcoholic beverage, is to swirl it, smell it and sip it. But, somewhere between the smelling and the sipping, it’s easy to feel clueless about wine. Okay, I smelled it. What am I supposed to be smelling, exactly? That is the question you should be asking.
And this is the answer to that question.
We caught up with Abhay Kewadkar, CEO, Four Seasons Wines, for a quick masterclass on how to tell the difference and prevent ourselves from looking silly amidst a group of wine snobs. And here’s the lowdown!
Myth: Great wine is expensive.
Fact: Not true, says Kewadkar. Great wine is neither expensive nor old. One can never truly judge a wine by its price range, the veteran says. According to him, it’s more about the depth, complexity and the aftertaste.
So, how do you really judge the good from the average?
1. Preference Is Subjective
When it comes to wine, preferences can be subjective, Kewadkar says. While some prefer a fruity wine, or an easy drinking style, others tend to go for heavy-bodied wines. So, the first step lies in determining your preferences.
2. Know Your Region
It is important for a true wine aficionado, or connoisseur, to understand the background of a particular packaged wine. “Great wines usually have a heritage and a history attached to it”, says Kewadkar, adding that one of the first steps to identifying a good wine is the region it comes from. It takes ages to produce wine that is qualitative.
3. Recognise The Traits
The characteristics of a great wine, according to Kewadkar, are an aging potential, being well-balanced, well-integrated oak and wine tannins, soft tannins with good concentration and complexity. In case of white wine, Kewadkar says, it should have an intense varietal character, complexity which can come from fermentation, or aging in oak barrels and good acidity which is important for the balance.
4. Longevity of Taste
The aftertaste of a great wine will linger on your palette, long after you have taken a sip and gulped it down. In case of an average wine, the taste almost disappears as soon as the liquid does. The aroma will be muted, or subdued and will make almost no impression when smelled.
But the most important point is to have experimented enough with wines to know the difference. Just like every experience makes you a seasoned human being, every wine tasting makes you a seasoned wine snob.