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THE POCKET SOMMELIER

WINE TASTING GUIDE

THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

The Pocket Sommelier, 2008 No part of this book may be transmitted in any form by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.

ISBN 978-0-9811374-0-7 Published by The Pocket Sommelier Ottawa ON pocketsommelier.blogspot.com

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 12345678APPEARANCE... AROMA... MOUTH FEEL BODY......

1 2 4 11 15

BALANCE... 16 FINISH. 17 SCORING 18 CHARACTERISTICS OF SOME OF THE MOST COMMONLY KNOWN GRAPE VARIETIES.. 19

THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE INTRODUCTION The experience of tasting wine can be divided into multiple stages of analysis. This publication will guide you through each stage and help you to develop your wine tasting skills until they become second nature. The first stage of wine tasting begins with describing the appearance, or eye of the wine, and is followed by an analysis of the aromas, or nose. The aromas noted by the nose are confirmed by a sensory evaluation in the mouth. Once in the mouth, the taster can evaluate the flavours, mouth feel (texture), as well as the body (weight), balance and ultimately the finish. When tasting, a tulip-shaped glass is preferable. The shape is important, as the glass begins to narrow towards the rim, the aromas become concentrated. Notes regarding your tasting experience should be taken in the wine journal, which follows the guide portion of this book. The journal is comprised of blank tasting sheets that guide the taster through each stage of the tasting process. Anyone can taste and evaluate wine all it takes is a little practice. In the end, it is your opinion that counts. Do not be swayed by what others say. Only you know what you like and what you do not. For starters, break out a bottle of wine, pour a couple of ounces in a glass and follow along the next few pages!

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE 1 - APPEARANCE The first step is to assess the wines colour and clarity. With 1 to 2 ounces of wine in the glass, place the glass on a sheet of plain white paper. From above, look down the glass while noting the wines clarity. Next tilt the glass on an angle and note the colour shade of the wine, while paying attention to the rim of the wine. A list of common terms and descriptors for wine clarity and colour follow. WHITE WINES Clarity Clear, Bright, Translucent - indication of a well-made wine Mistiness, Cloudy - may indicate a fault in the wine The rim - should also be bright and clear Colour Spectrum Lightest - Watery, almost colourless Yellow, with green reflections Straw Gold Darkest - Amber Lighter coloured white wines tend to be younger and fermented in stainless steel tanks. White wines will darken as they age. As well, white wines fermented in barrels will exhibit deeper colours.

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE RED WINES Clarity Light, Clear, Dark, Deep, Intense Opaque, Cloudy - may indicate a fault in the wine or a wine of distinction that has not been heavily fined or filtered The rim - a watery rim may indicate a well-aged wine or a younger wine that has prematurely oxidized Colour Spectrum Lightest - Cherry Ruby Violet, Brick Garnet Darkest - Brown Younger red wines exhibit shades of blue. Yellow and orange tints develop with age, until they become brickish. Red wines will become paler with age. Very old wines, or wines that are poorly stored, will eventually turn brown.

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE 2 - AROMA Assessing a wines aroma is the most important stage in wine tasting. When conducting a tasting, a wine should be at a temperature range between 59 to 68 degrees F (15 to 20 degrees C). Place your nose near the rim and inhale. Note the aromas. Now agitate the wine by swirling the glass. The action of agitation aerates the wine. Aeration brings out the aromas. Inhale again and analyze the bouquet of aromas. Jot down a few descriptors that describe what you smell. Wine aromas are generally categorized as either: Primary aromas from the grape itself, such as fresh fruit, floral, herbaceous and mineral; Secondary aromas from fermentation, such as yeast and cream; and, Tertiary aromas from aging, such as dried fruit, dried flowers, nuts, spice and earth. You will also want to make some conclusions as to the wines bouquet, such as on its intensity (concentration) of aromas. As well you may want to note its complexity (layers of various aromas). Both are indicators of quality. If you notice that a wine does not exhibit much in the way of aromas, you may want to note it as being closed. An in exhaustive list of common wine aroma descriptors follow, including indicators of wine faults, categorized for convenience. Feel free to add your own to this guide. -4-

THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE WHITE WINES Fruit Citrus Fruits Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange White Fruits Green Apple, Red Apple, Pear Stone Fruits Peach, Apricot, Nectarine Tropical Fruit Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, Passion fruit, Kiwi Exotic Fruits Melon, Mango, Gooseberry, Lychee, Pomegranate Dried Fruits Fig, Dried Apricots Floral White Flowers Honeysuckle, Elderflower, Clover Citrus Flowers Orange Blossom, Citronella Meadow Flowers Daisies, Crocus

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Floral (continued) Perfume Roses, Violets, Jasmine, Iris Garden Lilies Herbal Lavender Dried Flowers Potpourri, Tea Nutty Hazelnut, Almond Vegetable / Herbaceous Vegetable Asparagus, Green Bean, Pea Pod, Celery Herbal Dill, Anise, Fennel Herbaceous Cut Grass, Tomato Bush, Blackcurrant Bud, Tobacco Leaf, Lemongrass, Hay

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Mineral Petrol, Plastic, Rubber, Flint, Slate Beeswax, Paraffin Spice Cinnamon, Nutmeg Orange Peel, Grapefruit Rind, Lemon Zest Oak Vanilla, Butterscotch, Caramel Toast, Smoke Cream Buttery Yeast Biscuit, Bread Dough Sweetness Honey

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE RED WINES Fruit Tree Fruit Cherry, Plum Red Berries Raspberry, Strawberry Dark Berries Blackberry, Black Currant, Black Cherry, Blueberries Dried Fruit Strawberry Jam, Raisin, Fig, Prune, Stewed Fruit, Fruit Cake Spice Sweet Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Ginger Savory White Pepper, Black Pepper, Clove, Anise, Licorice Earthy Mushroom, Gamy, Forest Floor, Pine Bacon Floral Violet, Rose, Iris, Peonies

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Herbaceous Mint, Menthol Bell Pepper Tea, Sage Oak Vanilla, Butterscotch Chocolate, Cocoa, Cola Coffee, Mocha Pencil Shavings, Cedar, Tobacco, Cigar Box Leather, Tar Lees Contact Yeasty, Bread Nutty Cashew, Walnut, Almond Candy Bubblegum, Candy Floss

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE WINE FAULTS Oxidized Burnt Caramel, Sherry, Stale Hydrogen Sulfide Rotten Eggs, Struck Match Cork Taint Moldy, Musty, Dank, Wet Basement, Wet Newspapers

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE 3 - MOUTH FEEL Now its time to taste the wine and describe its physical and textural impression on the palate. A mouth feel descriptor reveals much about the wines structure. Take in a healthy amount of wine and move it around your mouth. Note the wines acidity, sweetness, viscosity and tannin levels. A list of common terms and descriptors for mouth feel follow. WHITE WINES Acidity acidity is the main component of mouth feel in white wines, but is also important in reds. An attractive acid level may be described as: - lively, crisp, fresh, zingy, watering - you may sense a spritz or prickle sensation Too high an acid level may be described as: - green, racy, hard, tart, stiff, biting Too low an acid level may be described as: - flat, flabby, bland, thin Low acid with oak barrel fermentation and aging influence may be described as: - creamy, luscious

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Sweetness the level of sweetness is defined in terms of residual sugar Dry a wine with no perceptible residual sugar Off Dry a wine with some perceptible residual sugar Semi Sweet a wine verging on dessert Sweet typical of dessert wines Sweet wines can be further analyzed: - a balanced sweet wine may be described as: - luscious, rich - too much sweetness may be described as: - syrupy, cloying Alcohol Content High alcohol wines may exhibit a mouth feel described as: - oily, slippery Mineral Wines with a large amount of mineral characteristics may be described as: - metallic Viscosity A full body, viscous wine may be described as: - fat, big, dense Opposite of the above may be described as: - thin, weak, watery

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE RED WINES Tannin tannin is the main component of mouth feel in red wines. A wine with ripe, well integrated tannin may be described as: - satin, suede, velvety A wine with more perceptible tannins may be described as: - dusty, chalky, grainy, chewy, grippy, furry A wine with green, unripe wood tannins may be described as: - harsh, abrasive, aggressive Medium acid level with low tannin and high alcohol with lots of fruit may be described as: - fleshy, juicy, jammy, rich Acid always lower in red wines An attractive acid level may be described as: - fresh, smooth, supple Too high an acid level may be described as: - tart, stiff, biting Too low an acid level may be described as: - flat, flabby, thin, dull Alcohol Content A wine with excessive alcohol may be described as: - hot

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE A few words on acid: All wine contains acid. A wine with either too low or too high of an acid level can never be considered balanced. A good level of acid (low pH) enhances the freshness and fruitiness of a wine and protects the wine against bacteria. The three types of acid are tartaric (an acid unique to grapes), malic, (a harsher acid, common to apples), and to a much lesser extent, citric. A fourth type of acid, lactic, is created from a process known as malolactic fermentation. This process converts the harsh malic acid into lactic acid, rendering a creamy texture to the wine. In general, acid produces the prickling and watery sensations felt on the tongue and mouth. A few words on tannin: Tannin is responsible for the sensation of astringency in wines (mainly red wines). Tannin is not a flavour, but rather a tactile sensation consisting of chemical compounds derived from the skins of grapes and to a lesser extent from oak barrels. The presence of tannin in a wine is evident from the pulling and drying sensations in the mouth.

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE 4 - BODY After swallowing or spitting the wine, you can now complete your evaluation. The next stage is to note the body or weight of the wine. The body is determined by its alcoholic strength and to a much lesser extent, the amount of residual sugar and extract (dissolved solids). A general guideline of descriptors regarding body and alcohol levels follows.

Light -

below 10%

Medium - 10% to 12% Full 13% and up

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE 5 - BALANCE Balance is another analysis of a wines structure and indicator of quality. Quality wines are always well balanced. In your analysis, note how well the alcohol, acidity, residual sugar, tannin and fruit levels complement each other on the palate. A guideline regarding balance follows. WHITE WINES Balance in white wines is analyzed in terms of acid and fruit levels, and to a lesser extent sweetness and alcohol. ACID ALCOHOL + SWEETNESS FRUIT

RED WINES Balance in red wines is analyzed in terms of tannin and fruit levels, and to a lesser extent acid and alcohol. TANNIN + ALCOHOL FRUIT

ACID

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE 6 - FINISH The sensation of length, or persistence, of a wines flavour on the tasters palate is the most important indicator of quality. Quality wines always exhibit a medium to very long finish. A guideline regarding finish follows.

Short Medium Long -

2 seconds or less (ordinary wines) 3 to 7 seconds (well made young wines) 7 to 10 seconds and longer (fine, mature wines)

Very Long - greater than 10 seconds (exceptional wines of distinction)

When analyzing the finish, ignore the effects of acid and tannin while concentrating on the flavours identified in the aroma analysis (e.g. fruit, spice, etc.). Lingering acid and tannin are not indicators of quality.

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE 7 - SCORING Professional wine writers, judges, etc. use a myriad of different wine scoring systems. Wine may be evaluated on a score of 10, number of stars out of 5 or simply recommended / not recommended. Below you will find a sample scoring system based on a possible total score of 100. The scoring is broken down by each stage of the wine tasting process examined in this booklet. Please note that the form of your scoring system does not matter. What does matter is that your impressions of the wines complexity and intensity of aroma, balance and finish should dominate the scoring.

SCORING SYSTEM Appearance Aroma Mouth feel Body Balance Finish Overall Total / 10 / 20 / 10 / 10 / 20 / 20 / 10 / 100

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE 8 - CHARACTERISTICS OF SOME OF THE MOST COMMONLY KNOWN GRAPE VARIETIES The worlds most famous wine grape varieties are of the genus Vitis Vinifera originating from the region around the Black Sea. All European wine grapes belong to this family. A few of the most commonly known grape varieties include: WHITE WINES Chardonnay Gewurztraminer Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris Riesling Sauvignon Blanc RED WINES Cabernet Sauvignon Gamay Noir Merlot Pinot Noir Sangiovese Shiraz Zinfandel

In the following pages, we will explore each wines benchmark area(s), typical tasting profile, and suggested food pairings. As a general rule, white wines should be served between 10C and 14C (50F to 57F) and red wines between 16C and 20C (61F to 68F).

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE WHITE WINES

Chardonnay
On its own, the Chardonnay grape produces a neutral wine. Many of the flavours commonly associated with Chardonnay are derived from the environment in which the grape was grown and the influence of various winemaking techniques (eg. oak contact, fermentation methods). Unoaked to Lightly Oaked Style Benchmark Area(s) Burgundy region of France, where the style ranges from light, crisp and flinty Chablis, to rich and buttery Meursaults Champagne region of France, where it is an important component in many of the regions famous sparkling wines Typical tasting profile Colour light yellow Aromas/Flavours green apple, pear, lemon, grapefruit, melon, pear Mouth Feel high acidity - crisp, fresh, flinty Body light Sweetness dry

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Food Pairings The various styles of Chardonnay allow it to be paired with a diverse assortment of food. Starch Seafood Shellfish Poultry Meat Ethnic Cheeses Pasta (with white sauce) shrimp, trout, pan-fried salmon, light sauce oysters, boiled lobster roast chicken, turkey veal Thai semi-hard (mild Cheddar, Provolone), hard (Gruyre, Parmesan)

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Heavily Oaked Style Benchmark Area(s) California and Australia, where the style is usually heavily oaked, resulting in intense tropical fruit flavours Typical tasting profile Colour deep straw Aromas/Flavours pineapple, mango, banana, coconut, honey, butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, hazelnut Mouth Feel medium acidity - creamy, luscious Body full Sweetness dry, but may be perceived as sweeter than the unoaked style due to its lower acid level and intenser fruit Food Pairings Heavily oaked Chardonnay does not pair well with delicate fish and seafood dishes better to pair with heavier and stronger flavours, such smoked fish, heavy cream sauces and spicy Asian cuisine. Seafood Shellfish Poultry Pork Ethnic Cheeses cod, haddock, tuna, cream sauce Dungeness crab, lobster, cream sauce roast chicken grilled mild curries soft (Bucheron), hard (Gruyre, Parmesan), goat - 22 -

THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Gewurztraminer
Gewurztraminer is an aromatic wine best produced in cooler climates. The term Gewurz is German for spicy. As such, this wine is usually off-dry and distinguished by an intense bouquet of lychees. Benchmark Area(s) Alsace region of France Typical tasting profile Colour deep yellow, pinkish tinge, copper tone Aromas/Flavours very aromatic - spice, perfume, floral, lychee, pineapple, grapefruit, citrus rind, mangoes, petrol Mouth Feel high acidity, oily, dry to semi-sweet Body full, high in alcohol Sweetness dry, but may be perceived as sweet due to its intense fruit Food Pairings Gewrztraminers intense aromatics lends it well to Asian cuisine. Traditionally, it is often paired with high fat meats. Vegetables Seafood Poultry Pork Ethnic Cheeses fresh fruit smoked salmon chicken, wild game roasted, ham Chinese, hot curries soft (Munster), medium (Swiss), smoked - 23 -

THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris


Pinot Grigio, as it is known in Italy, and Pinot Gris, as it is known in France, are becoming increasingly popular wines whose styles can vary greatly depending on their origin. Pinot Grigio tends to be lighter and crisper when compared to Pinto Gris, which tends to be fuller bodied, richer and floral. Benchmark Area(s) Veneto and Fruili regions of Northern Italy Alsace region of France Typical tasting profile Colour deep yellow, pinkish tinge Aromas/Flavours peach, apricot, floral, spice, smoke, biscuit, butter Mouth Feel medium acidity - rich, oily Body full Sweetness dry Food Pairings Vegetables Starch Seafood Shellfish Poultry Beef Cheeses vegetable dishes risotto fish, scallops, shrimp crab chicken veal soft (fresh Mozzarella), mild (Jarlsberg)

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Riesling
Riesling is a crisp, fruity and aromatic wine that is often consumed when young. It is used to make dry, off-dry, semisweet, sweet and sparkling wines. Riesling wines are rarely blended and are seldom oaked. Rieslings suitable for extended aging are high quality dry or offdry Rieslings with naturally high acidity, and sweet Rieslings with high sugar content. Benchmark Area(s) Rhine region of Germany, where it is generally made in an offdry style, with lower alcohol levels Alsace region of France, where it is generally made in a dry style, with higher alcohol levels Typical tasting profile Colour pale yellow, green tinge Aromas/Flavours green apple, apricot, pineapple, peach, lime, floral, honey, petrol, mineral (slate) Mouth Feel high acidity crisp, zingy, oily Body medium Sweetness dry, off-dry, sweet

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Food Pairings When in doubt, think of Riesling. Its a versatile wine for pairing with food due to its balance of sugar and acidity. Commonly paired with white fish or pork, it can also be paired with the strong flavours and spices of Thai and Chinese cuisine. When pairing with spicy dishes, always choose off-dry/semisweet versions of Riesling. You should pair sweeter Rieslings (auslese, beerenauslese, ice wine styles) with desserts. Vegetables Starch Seafood Shellfish Meat Poultry Pork Ethnic Cheeses Dessert vegetables, salads pasta (in white sauce) scallops, shrimp, trout, white sauce oysters, crab, lobster cold cuts, veal, sausages goose, duck, skinless poached chicken breast roasted Thai, Chinese, mild curries mild (Jarlsberg), semi-hard (Monterey Jack, Gouda) fruit-based

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc produces a crisp, dry, and refreshing wine. Grapes grown in cooler climates will result in wines with grassy, herbaceous notes, whereas warmer climate versions will exhibit tropical, melon flavours. Benchmark Area(s) Marlborough region of New Zealand Loire Valley of France Graves appellation in the Bordeaux region of France, where it is blended with the Semillon grape Typical tasting profile Colour watery to light yellow, greenish tinge Aromas/Flavours citrus, grassy, asparagus, green bean, canned green peas, green melon, mineral Mouth Feel high acidity crisp, fresh, zingy Body medium Sweetness very dry Food Pairings Vegetables Seafood Shellfish Poultry Ethnic Cheeses asparagus shrimp, salmon (in light sauce) oysters, mussels, lobster chicken thigh, roast duck sushi, Mexican semi-hard (sharp cheddar), hard (Gruyre), fondue, goat - 27 -

THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE RED WINES

Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in almost every major wine producing region of the world. Typical Cabernet Sauvignons will exhibit aromas of black currants. However, styles can vary greatly depending on the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. Lesser ripe versions will exhibit green bell peppers and vegetal flavours. Too ripe and the wines can taste jammy with aromas of stewed black currants. In its youth, Cabernet Sauvignon will exhibit black cherry and plum aromas, giving way to cedar and cigar box aromas as it ages. Benchmark Area(s) The famous claret wines of Bordeaux (more specifically the Mdoc region) of France, commonly blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc Napa Valley of California Coonawarra region of Australia Typical tasting profile Colour dark ruby red Aromas/Flavours black currant, blackberry, plum, green pepper, mint, clove, cedar, tobacco, vanilla, chocolate, violets Mouth Feel high tannin, silky, chewy, dry Body full Sweetness very dry

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Food Pairings Best to pair with Cabernet Sauvignon with fatty red meats. The protein and fat in such dishes will negate some of the high tannin levels associated with this wine. Starch Meat Cheeses pasta (in red sauce) dark veal, lamb, spare ribs, grilled steak soft (Brie, Camembert), semi-soft (Havarti), semi-hard (sharp Cheddar), hard (strong Cheddar) dark chocolate

Dessert

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Gamay Noir
Gamay Noir makes a light, fruity wine that is pleasant to drink. It is commonly known as a great picnic wine. Benchmark Area(s) Beaujolais region of France Typical tasting profile Colour Aromas/Flavours Mouth Feel Body Sweetness Food Pairings Gamay pairs well with a variety of food. Seafood Meat Ethnic Cheeses sardines, mackarel, tuna roasts, stews Japanese soft (Feta, fresh Mozzarella, Muenster), mild (Jarlsberg) pale, blue red cherry, strawberry, raspberry high acidity, low tannin - fresh medium, low alcohol, simple, easy drinking dry

Can be served a little cooler than most reds, at around 12C (56F).

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Merlot
Merlot wines usually have a medium body with hints of berry, plum, and currant. Merlots softness is highly valued when blended with more tannic grapes. Benchmark Area(s) Second most important variety in the Bordeaux region of France after Cabernet Sauvignon, its typical blending partner Cult wines of California Typical tasting profile Colour ruby Aromas/Flavours lots of fruit, raspberry, blackberry, plum, earthy, spice Mouth Feel low acid, low tannin results in a soft wine, supple Body full, high alcohol, dry Sweetness dry Food Pairings Vegetables Other Seafood Meat Poultry Pork Beef Cheeses roasted pizza, pasta with meat sauce grilled tuna, grilled salmon lamb grilled chicken roasted stewed, steak soft (Brie), hard - 31 -

THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir grapes are grown mostly in cooler wine regions. It is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. Pinot Noir tends to be light in colour, with a light to medium body, complete with aromas of cherry, raspberry and earth. Benchmark Area(s) Burgundy region of France Willamette Valley, Oregon Russian River Valley, California Typical tasting profile Colour cherry, mid-ruby Aromas/Flavours cherry, strawberry, raspberry, plum, green mint, herbal tea, cola, licorice, mushroom, leather, earth, soya, cinnamon, smoky, coffee, rose petals Mouth Feel medium to high acidity, low to medium tannin - fresh, fleshy, silky, soft, supple, velvety Body light to medium bodied Sweetness dry

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE Food Pairings Vegetables Starch Seafood Meat Poultry Pork Beef Cheeses mushrooms pasta (in red sauce) grilled salmon, grilled tuna cold cuts, lamb duck, roasted chicken with mushroom sauce ham stew soft, hard (Edam)

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Sangiovese
Sangiovese has fresh fruity aromas and some spiciness, but develops oaky/tarry when aged in barrels. Benchmark Area(s) Tuscany region of Italy where it is the main grape in the wines of Chianti Typical tasting profile Colour Aromas/Flavours Mouth Feel Body Sweetness Food Pairings Other Meat Poultry Pork Beef Cheeses baked meat pasta dishes veal, stews, venison grilled or roasted chicken bbq steak soft (Mozzarella), semi-hard (Provolone) hard (Pecorino) orange tint cherry, prune, dried fruit, herbs, earthy high acidity, tannic, dry medium dry

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Shiraz
Australian Shiraz typically expresses aromas of blackberry, chocolate, espresso and black pepper. Known as Syrah in the Rhne Valley of France, it is more commonly blended with other varieties. The European version is drier, more tannic, and lower in alcohol. Benchmark Area(s) Barossa Valley of Australia Typical tasting profile Colour dark purple, inky Aromas/Flavours raspberry, black currant, plum, ripe dark fruit, black pepper, licorice, smokey, chocolate Mouth Feel jammy, chocolately Body full Sweetness dry, but can be perceived as slightly sweet due to the high alcohol content Food Pairings Meat Poultry Beef Cheeses Dessert sausages turkey, roasted or grilled chicken, goose steak with peppercorn sauce hard (Emmentaler), smoked, goat dark chocolate

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THE POCKET SOMMELIER WINE TASTING GUIDE

Zinfandel
California Zinfandel is made into two dominate styles fine, full bodied red fruit bomb wines, as well as in easy drinking, inexpensive, sweet blush plonk. Known as Primitivo in the Puglia region of Italy. Benchmark Area(s) Napa and Sonoma Valleys, California Typical tasting profile full bodied style Colour dark purple, inky Aromas/Flavours fruit-forward: strawberry, raspberry, dark brambly berries, blackberry, blueberries, stewed fruit, briary, jammy, anise, spice Mouth Feel medium acidity, rarely tannic, jammy, dry but with perceived sweetness Body full yet easy drinking Sweetness dry, but can be perceived as slightly sweet due to the high alcohol content Food Pairings Vegetables Meat Poultry Pork Beef Cheeses tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, olives fruit-stuffed, lamb, venison, sausage, stews, roasts turkey chops, spicy bbq ribs steak soft (Muenster), aged (Parmesan), dry (Monterey Jack), hard - 36 -

SAMPLE WINE TASTING NOTE SHEET

Date:

Place:

Producer/Varietals/Region/Vintage/Alcohol Content/Price

Appearance /10 Aromas

/20 Mouth Feel /10 Body /10 Balance /20 Finish /20 Overall /10 Score: Tasters Initials: