Nose and palate
On the palate, the taster perceives the four fundamental flavors which are acid, salty, sweet and bitter. The olfactory approach to wine allows us to analyze a whole range of aromas by studying their intensity, quality and character.
THE OLFACTORY APPROACH TO WINE
The olfactory approach to wine allows us to analyze a whole range of aromas by studying their intensity, quality and character.
A wine can develop up to 700 good or bad aromas. The olfactory function represents 70% of the information provided by the tasting.
The 1st nose
To discover it, you have to lean towards the glass on the table in order to detect the intensity and the general character of the wine.
The 2nd nose
Rotate the glass with your fingertips and bring the glass to your nose. The aromas are divided into four groups: Vegetal, mineral, animal and empyreumatic.
More than 500 aromatic substances were detected in the wine.
These odors are classified into different aromatic series.
The smell of flowers takes on different tones. Acacia or hawthorn, for example, are fine and light scents typical of certain dry and sparkling white wines. Violet or broom, which are more violent, are present in some stronger white wines and some red wines.
We often discover these aromas (nutmeg, thyme...) in wines from harvests very matured by the sun. Pepper and liquorice are present in fine and racy red wines. Vanilla is characteristic of wines aged in new oak barrels.
Musk, leather, fur, game ... are powerful and racy smells characteristic of red wines for storage after a long time.
These are all the smells of toasting, roasting, coffee, cocoa ... which are especially apparent in the great red wines that have reached their fullness.
The aromas of mushroom, humus, undergrowth... are typical of great red wines kept for a few years in the bottle. Herbal tea, tobacco, dried leaves ... are found in white and red wines for storage. Blackcurrant buds characterize wines made from Sauvignon grape variety; green bell pepper, those made from Cabernet grape variety.
Red fruits such as blackcurrant, blackberry, or raspberry mark young red wines. Citrus notes such as lemon, tangerine, orange..., are powerful perfumes characteristic of the Vins Doux Naturels. Apricot, peach... are found in some very elegant dry white wines. The green apple is an aroma present in young white wines. We find almond and hazelnut in great white wines or walnut, dried fig and prune in old Vins Doux Naturels and great red wines for storage.
THE GUSTATORY APPROACH TO WINE
The palate allows the taste of the wine to be assessed using the taste buds of the tongue, but also the palate, gums and cheeks.
The taste of the wine is therefore the result of various stimuli of the tongue: taste, thermal, tactile.
The phases of the tasting
The tasting of a wine is generally divided into 3 distinct phases, called attack, middle and finish.
The first two or three seconds in the mouth. It can be round, soft, lively...
Flavors develop at the level of the language. The tactile effects (astringency, viscosity and tannin) as well as a thermal effect linked to the alcohol are revealed at this stage of the tasting.
It is the persistence of the aromas in seconds in the mouth.
The Four Flavors
In the mouth, the taster perceives the four fundamental flavors which are acid, salty, sweet and bitter. Each of the constituents of the wine brings a particular flavor.
Thus alcohol and sugars contribute to the sweetness of the wine, to a sensation of smoothness and roundness.
The malic, lactic and citric acids, which are the three main acids in wine, are responsible for its acidic taste.
The tannins can in some cases lead to a sensation of bitterness.
The different sensations
Tactile sensations give an indication of the texture of the wine, i.e. its fluidity, smoothness or roundness, and are analyzed by the contact of the wine with the mucous membranes of the mouth.
This contact in the mouth is perceived as a more or less drying or rough sensation on the tongue.
Thermal sensations give an indication of the temperature (cold and hot) of the wine.
However, certain constituents of the wine also cause a "pseudo-thermal" sensation: excess alcohol, for example, leaves an impression of warmth on the tongue that often persists after the wine has been rejected.
Certain constituents of the wine provoke particular sensations: acidity irritates the mucous membranes of the gums.
The tannins in the wine have the property of coagulating the proteins in saliva, which loses its lubricity, and tighten the tissues of the mucous membranes of the cheeks, giving an impression of dryness called "astringency".
The balance of the wine
The gustatory examination of the wine will make it possible to study the relationship that links all the sensations of sweetness, acidity, tannin and alcohol... This is called "the balance of the wine".