When you taste wine, you learn the most about it by means of your senses: sight, taste, and smell.
No chemical analysis can provide enough information to determine the quality of a wine. Two wines with identical chemical analysis results may taste very different; therefore, it is the human perception of taste that determines its quality.
Whether you drink wine just for pleasure or you are a professional, several important points should be taken into consideration. One of them is wine temperature. If a wine is not served at the right temperature, its taste and smell can be distorted. White wines should be served at lower temperature, red wines benefit from higher temperature. It is good to serve the wine at a slightly lower temperature than recommended, as it warms up slightly in the glass.
If a wine is not served at the right temperature, it harms its taste and flavor.
It is accepted that white wines benefit from lower temperature and reds from higher. Ideally the wine should be served a little bit cooler, as it warms up in the glass.
|Wine types||Recommended serving temperature||Approximate time of cooling before serving|
|White wines||Young and fresh||10-12°C||1,5 hours|
|Medium sweet||8-10°C||2 hours|
|Full bodied sweet wines||6-8°C||2,5 hours|
|Full bodied, dry aged wines||12-16°C||1 hour|
|Rose wines||Dry or medium sweet||10-12°C||1,5 hours|
|Red wines||Young fruity and dry||12-16°C||1 hours|
|Fruity medium sweet||10-14°C||1,5 hours|
|Medium bodied dry||14-17°C||—|
|Full bodied dry||17-19°C||—|
Wine glass must have a long stem and a tulip-shaped bowl.
Red wines need space to react with air and develop their bouquet. This is why the glass has a large bowl.
White wines are served colder, so the bowl must be smaller to keep the wine cold for as long as possible.
The glass should be tilted towards the bottle to make sure wine flows into the bowl across the glass. The glass should be 1/3 full.
Daylight is ideal for observing the color of wine. Hold the glass by the bottom of the stem and hold it in front of a white background. The wine should be clear and perfectly pure.
Red wine color varies from rose to dark red, which seems almost black sometimes.
White wines range between transparent and deep yellowish. It is necessary to look at it from the top in order to determine the depth of the color. Red wines usually lose their color depth with age (brick color), while white wines acquire a deeper color (yellow gold).
The aroma can provide us with valuable information about grape variety, wine age, winemaking technology, and even region of origin. After swirling the glass, the wine should distribute evenly onto its walls. Then put the glass close to your mouth and deeply draw in the aroma of the wine with your nose.
One can detect thousands of different aromas in wine – from tropical fruits to leather or cigar. Some people can identify individual scents better than others, but there are no right answers. Repeating this step can even lead to new and surprising sensations.
During wine tasting, we distinguish four different types of taste: acidity (on the sides of the tongue), sweetness (on the tip of the tongue), salinity (on the sides and tip of the tongue) and bitterness (on the back of the palate). The level of excess alcohol can be detected in the back of the throat.
During a professional wine tasting it is determined how balanced the above-mentioned compounds are. A good indicator of quality is the persistence of taste. Only after considering all the elements mentioned above can we make a final decision about the quality of a wine.
STORAGE OF WINE
The ideal place for storing wine is a wine rack in a well-ventilated cellar with a constant temperature (12-16 °C). Bottles should be positioned either upside down or horizontally in order to prevent the cork from drying out.
Another option is a wine cabinet. Contemporary wine cabinets even enable maintaining multi-temperature regime for different types of wines. If one intends to consume the wine shortly after the purchase, it can be stored for a short time anywhere in the house under a constant temperature.
Note: Maintaining a constant temperature (even if it is slightly higher than the recommended one) is very important for retaining the quality of the wine.
Red wine maturation period ranges between one year and several decades. The aging time of red wines depends on many factors, such as the characteristics of the individual vine varieties, the quality of each harvest, the production technology, the method of processing and the initial structure of the wine (acidity, tannins, etc.). In fact, it is also a matter of taste.
If you like young red wines dominated by hints of fresh forest fruits and a finish with light tannins, try Marani Saperavi, not older than 3 years.
If you prefer full-bodied wines, dominated by tones of ripe fruits or hints of tobacco and vanilla as a result of aging in oak barrels, you should try Napareuli or Mukuzani, 3 to 5 years old. For those who like more mature tastes (dried cherries, plums) with a very good structure and excellent balance of flavors, Satrapezo Saperavi or Condole Saperavi are the perfect choice.
White wines are generally not suitable for long-term maturation and storage – most of them should be consumed within 3 years of harvest. The aging time of white wines depends on many factors, such as the characteristics of the individual vine varieties, the quality of each harvest, the production technology, the method of processing and the initial structure of the wine (acidity, tannins, etc.)
If you prefer young wines with floral or fruity aromas and a fresh well-balanced taste, Mtsvane, Rkatsiteli-Chardonnay, or Tsinandali wines are the right choice for you. These wines taste best young and go well with salads, fish, and poultry.
If you prefer wines that are slightly heavier with tones of dried fruits, beeswax, and aromas gained from aging in oak barrels, Satrapezo 10 Qvevri or Condoli Rkatsiteli are the best choice. These wines will benefit from 5 to 10 years of aging They pair well with pork and veal.
Georgian regulations define 18 official wine micro-regions (Specific Viticulture Areas) where wines with a protected designation of origin are produced.
These micro-regions include:
Tsinandali, Vazisubani, Mukuzani, Akhasheni, Napareuli, Kindzmarauli, Kvareli, Gurjaani, Kotekhi, Kardenakhi, and Manavi (in the Kakheti region);
Tvishi and Khvanchkara (in the Racha-Lechkhumi region);
Ateni and Svir (in the Imereti region).
Most of these wine regions are named after the neighboring villages (Mukuzani, Tsinandali, Napareuli). Some names come from historically recognized names of wine regions (Kindzmarauli, Kotekhi).
Kindzmarauli is a semi-sweet red wine made from Saperavi grapes. This variety is grown in the Kindzmarauli wine region that lies on the southern slopes of the Alazani Valley, west of the Duruji River, near the town of Kvareli (the Kakheti region). The soil here consists of clay lying on a limestone subsoil that removes excess water. The specific microclimate and the temperature fluctuations between day and night ensure the ideal conditions for vine growing.