Tasting wines can be a fun, exhilarating, exhausting experience, especially at a major festival. Quini, an interactive wine tasting, rating and personalized recommendations application and data systems provider, has five wine-tasting recommendations designed to help attendees of the Vancouver International Wine festival gain the most out of the event held Feb. 24-March 3.
1) Taste judiciously. Try not to race to taste as many wines as you can–even a professional wine tasting judge’s palate can tire at 60 wines or so, according to Quini. Take your time and judiciously taste fewer wines. It’s not about the numbers: Great wines give you pleasure, evoke or create memories, and expand your knowledge and appreciation for life and the art of wine.
2) Be selective. You are your own judge. Think of wines you have tried in the past, what you liked and did not like about them. Understand that your palate is unique, so tell the representative at the table what you’re looking for, or trying to avoid. A wine is more likely to satisfy your palate if you let the rep know what you like.
3) Take tasting notes. If you’ve ever taken mental note of a wine only to forget it later, you’re not alone. This is especially guaranteed when you taste many wines in a row. Take a moment to write down your impressions of your favorites as you work the room, and snap a photo of the label if you can. Writing down things such as “the woman wearing a blue dress gave me that wine” can be great memory triggers as well. If you have a smartphone, use it to take notes and pictures.
4) Mark peaks and valleys. Set personal expectations for wine experiences you want to remember–criteria that mean something to you and are bound to make you take notice, and with that, more easily remember the wine in the future. These might include extreme sweetness or dryness perhaps, or a strong acidic flavor that awakens the senses.
5) Break it down. In wine tasting, judgment is more accurate when you break down the experience into components. Unless the different aspects are rated separately, and carefully, one can easily slip into a judgment call, unintentionally discarding or diluting other key pieces. Follow and rate these five aspects of a wine when taking notes, taken from the Quini wine app: Eye for appearance, nose for aroma, mouth for taste, finish for aftertaste and duration in the mouth, and opinion for an overall impression.