Are you a wine expert? Or are you like me, a person who doesn't know much about wine, but wishes she did?
I happily received Wine for Normal People by Elizabeth Schneider for Christmas. The subtitle tells it all: A Guide for Real People Who Like Wine, But Not the Snobbery That Goes With It.
The first thing I learned is that there is a process to tasting wine:
See. Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Size up.
I come from the learn-by-doing school. Maybe it would help if I tried out the steps.
I'll start with Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel. This is how little I know about wine: Is this a wine glass? Not sure.
Author Elizabeth Schneider, described on the cover as a "Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine, MBA, Normal Person," cautions us not to fill the glass too full. Okay. That is probably the first thing I've always done wrong. I thought you filled a glass with wine like you do Coca-Cola.
And now, the big moment...sip. There are three phases wine people talk about when they are tasting: the attack, the first impression; the mid-palate, the taste after holding the wine in the mouth for a moment; and the finish, the lasting flavors in your mouth after the swallow.
And voilà! It's time for the sizing up. Schneider encourages us to look at the four main structure components of a wine: acid, tannin, alcohol, and sugar. Here she goes through several pages to explain complexity, insipid, flabby, extracted, dry, cloying, legs, hot, big, and more. I'll just say it's refreshingly acidic, dry, with an earthy taste...
Whew! And that's all in Chapter 1...Do I have a lot to learn?!
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