You’ve passed level one of Australian wine snobbery, where to now?
So you’ve taken your first steps in wine snobbery by learning that swirling wine actually makes a difference to aromas. But when you sniff your glass of wine all you get is a cacophony of noisy aromas and flavours, as confusing as that terrible DJ that played at your friend’s birthday party. Just like on that night, you just wish you could turn down the volume and focus on the conversation. So what can you do to ‘listen’ more closely to the aromas and the flavours in your wine?
Close your eyes...
That’s it. Close your eyes. Closing your eyes allows you to focus when meditating, relaxing or doing yoga. Closing your eyes allows you to focus on the aromas and flavours of the wine. Swirl your glass (with your eyes open, even the snobbiest of wine snobs struggles with the blind swirl) and then close your eyes and sniff the wine. Try to focus on one of the aromas. If it’s a sauvignon blanc it might be the smell of a tropical fruit salad. If it’s a shiraz it might be the smell of berries. Once you get a hint of something open your eyes and repeat the process, focusing in on the flavour you identified. Don’t worry if you can’t find any unique flavours, it takes time and patience. You can use wine descriptors on wine labels as a cheat sheet or if you are out at a restaurant ask your sommelier for a hint!
Don’t believe us? Here’s some advice from a real expert!
In a recent article in the Australian, wine writer Max Allen asked a bunch of wine experts for their tips on ‘How to be a wine expert’. From Max, “…almost all of them advised the eye-closing technique…” Could this be the number one, all-time greatest ever, simplest but most amazing wine snob tip?!?
Sommelier Banjo Harris Plane, co-owner of Melbourne’s Bar Liberty and Australian Sommelier of the Year, said in the article: “I always close my eyes when I taste, so I can concentrate on what’s going on in the glass; it really crystallises my impression of what I’m drinking.”
There’s loads of other great tips in the article, may they help you in your next steps to becoming an Australian wine snob!