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Our friends at The Wine Club sent us a wee bit of fun information that we thought our readers would like to have handy as well.

First, seriously there’s a wine bottle big enough to hold 20 bottles of wine?  Where have you been all my life?

FUN WINE FACTS
How big can a wine bottle get?
Capacity (Liters) followed by the number of standard size bottles contained:
Standard (.75)  1
Magnum (1.5)  2
Jeroboam (3)  4
Rehoboam (4.5)  6
Methuselah (6)  8
Salmanazar (9)  12
Balthazar (12)  16
Nebuchadnezzar (15)  20

Now, on to the good stuff, wine tasting for the beginner.  My wine tasting days started long ago and there was once a time when my palate was quite ‘sophisticated’.  Alas, I am now a Mom of a 2 year old and while I still enjoy plenty of wine (trust me sometimes it’s the perfect way to round off my day), my days of ‘wine tasting’ are much more limited.  But, I digress, wine tasting doesn’t require a certain sophistication, or experience.  What it requires is a love (or even a like) of wine and an opinion, because let’s face it, good wine is wine that you like.  To help you really understand the nuances of wine tasting, however, we’ve included a great article from TheWineClub.ws.  Cheers!

A simple 5-step process of tasting wine is a helpful tool for better understanding and appreciating  your wine. This process helps you gain a better understanding of the the overall wine tasting experience.

Follow These Steps:
 

  1. Sight
  2. Smell
  3. Taste
  4. Touch
  5. Overall Impression

 

Sight:

Take a look at the color of the wine. Look for the clarity of the wine and the brilliance of the color. Wine will vary in intensity of color. Pick up the glass by the stem and hold the glass towards a natural light source or against a white background such as a tablecloth or white paper.

Note the color and clarity of the wine. White wines can range from straw yellow to a deep gold. Red wines can be inky purple, brick red, or many shades in between. Intensity of color is sometimes a signal of a wine with a heavier body.

Smell:

Exploring the aromas of wine is an important step to enjoying the full tasting experience of the wine. Our sense of smell is more fine-tuned than our sense of taste, so many of the complex subtleties in wine are actually better observed through smell over taste.

Swirl the wine in your glass by rotating your wrist. Most people have trouble at first. The key is in the wrist. Rotate the wrist while holding the rest of the arm still. The swirling of the glass releases the wine’s aromas to the top edge of the glass.

Place your nose just over and the edge of the wine glass. Keep your mouth open. The aromas should bounce off this edge straight up the nostrils. Take a very deep sniff. Identify any familiar smells. Repeat, but rest your sense of smell a few seconds before you smell again.

Common aromas you may notice are floral, citrus, and tropical fruit for white wines, or berry, dried fruit, and spice for red wines.

Taste:

The human tongue can only taste five primary flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory. However, by slurping in a small amount of air along with the wine, we can use our sense of smell again to help us “taste” more flavors.

1. Initial taste: This is where the wine initially hits your taste buds and they respond to the sensations.

2. Taste: Slosh the wine around and draw in some air. Examine the body and texture. Is it light or full? Smooth or spicey?

3. Finish: The taste that remains in your mouth after you have swallowed the wine. How long did the taste last? Was it pleasant?

Describe the flavors you taste. You may notice some of the same fruit, floral or spice flavors that you noticed while smelling the wine. You may also notice some of the five tastes, such as sweetness on the tip of your tongue, sour from the acidity of the wine, or slight bitterness from the tannins.

Touch:

The body of a wine can be described as light, medium, or full. White wines such as a Sauvignon Blanc is considered light-bodied, while reds like Cabernet Suavignon or Shiraz are usually medium to full-bodied wines.

Overall Impression:

Combine your impressions of the wine’s appearance, aromas, taste, body, and finish.

Evaluate the various aspects of the wine and how they work together. A good wine will have a balance the the elements, and each individual characteristic should combine to create a nice blend of taste sensations.

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