Ever been to a winetasting?

Candlelight, open fire, olives, cheese, smartly dressed people, cozy background music and seven bottles of Spanish red wine (well, one was Italian I must admit). Yes, you read that right, I’m describing a convivial winetasting at the all-famous Delphi student residence organized by two of my friends. Admittedly, the fireplace was more of a screen projection and the tasting more of a trying to taste something, but I would still like to tell you about this evening of a different kind and give you some inspiration for a fun weekend with your friends. But before you think you have to be an absolute wine connoisseur to understand this article, let me assure you that we all like wine, but we are definitely not sommeliers. It was more about testing our taste buds and discussing our own perceptions and impressions among friends.

So, six wines from different growing regions of Spain (and my fake Spaniard, which was actually an Italian wine) were ready for tasting. In order to taste the high-quality drops in style, the hosts of the evening had specially fetched the freshly polished wine glasses from the white hanging cupboards in Delphi’s kitchen. Now it was time to start with the first wine, the Baron de Ley, from the historic region of Rioja. To give us a first impression of the wine, everyone had prepared a PowerPoint slide and presented some key facts about the wine they brought. On the one hand, it was about the region of cultivation, but also about the different nuances of taste, the mouthfeel, or the aromas that we could expect when tasting. But of course, they also featured which possible dishes the wines would go with. For instances, the slides contained descriptions such as:

Impenetrable ruby red color, the nose is intense of red fruit and black cherry jam, light notes of cocoa and toasted complete its bouquet. The palate is warm, fairly tannic, soft, intense, with the typical almond finish.

Of course, this reads very posh and elegant, but also complicated – and indeed it was for me. Even though I was still quite receptive when it came to thinking about the first wine, it was very difficult to identify and truly taste the individual aromas. Anyway, we tried to fill in a score sheet and discussed among ourselves what we actually tasted. In addition to the taste, the clarity and color, the sweetness, bitterness and acidity as well as the texture were to be evaluated. The points for each category were added up and could add up to a maximum of 20 per wine. Since we were still quite inexperienced at the beginning, we discussed our perceptions in detail before we made the evaluations. But with every wine we tasted, our self-confidence and judgment increased – even if the differences between the wines were often only marginal. After each round, everyone presented their score for the wine tasted. Each score was then added together to determine the total score for each wine.

Either way, it was a successful evening. And what can I say, my fake Spaniard won in the end, so next time there will be Italian wines to taste. Maybe I’ll bring a Spanish one then – we’ll find out. In any case, I wish you an enjoyable time when you taste the next wines with your friends. Here you can also download a helpful evaluation form, which will make the scoring easier for you. And remember, even if it is just a tasting, always have a glass of water on your side to prevent worse the next day!

Skål!

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