You need to take some wine into the mouth not so much as to fill the mouth but more than just a sip......do not swallow the wine yet, hold it in your mouth and draw air through your pursed lips, allow the wine to pass over your gums and around your mouth, different areas of the mouth and tongue are sensitive to different flavours.
So what are we looking for -
- Sweetness - from dry to sweet, the tip of the tongue is particularly sensitive to sweetness.
- Acidity - Low, medium or high, the sides of the tongue notice acidity.
- Tannin - Low, medium or high, this is a very important part of the flavour of red wine, if you bite into a grape pip the drying sensation on the mouth is what is referred to as the tannin, this is most pronounced on the gums at the front of the mouth.
- Alcohol - Low, medium or high, can be noticed on swallowing the wine at the back of the throat as a slight burning sensation if the alcohol content is high.
- Body - Light, medium or full, this is the impression of the wines feel in the mouth, for example sparkling water with a hint of lemon would feel light in in the mouth, but a glass full of freshly squeezed mango juice would feel full in the mouth.
- Flavour characteristics - this list can be extensive, I will list a few, do you notice fruit flavours, spice maybe, oak or vanilla may be apparent.
- Length or Finnish - Short, Medium or long, this is simply how long the flavour lingers in the mouth after the wine has been swallowed.
"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each".
Henry David Thoreau