Sip: What fruits or other flavors am I reminded of when I sip a wine
Drumroll please… it is finally time to drink that wine! Sip that is, not gulp. With wine, a little goes a long way and is meant to be enjoyed and savored versus quenching your thirst from a good workout. When tasting wine, make sure you have not recently eaten anything which might leave a lingering taste in your mouth and take it from DOMSOM, you definitely do not want to drink wine immediately after brushing your teeth! Ready, set, sip.
It is important to note wine can have multiple levels of flavor referred to as primary, secondary and tertiary just as it can have multiple layers of aroma. The most dominant flavors you will taste in the Sip stage are the Primary Flavors while Secondary and Tertiary flavors will become more pronounced when you have had multiple sips or are in the final S, Savor.
Primary Flavors: These are directly linked to the grape variety itself. Each variety has basic characteristics true to its origin. Sound confusing? Let’s look at another fruit with numerous varieties to help explain, apples. Green granny smith apples have distinct flavors and are highly tart making your mouth pucker. Golden delicious are also pale green, but are much sweeter and juicier. Make sense? Primary grape flavors and smells are directly associated with the variety and through the fermentation process, produce base wines which fit within profiles matching what one would expect of the varietal.
Secondary Flavors: After fermentation, wines may experience a wide variety of influences during the storage and maturation stages. You have already learned about most of them and you can reference the “Making White Wine” stages and DOMSOM’s “Principles of Wine Tasting: White Wine” chart for details on how oak barrels, malolactic fermentation and lees aging can dramatically change the flavor of a white wine.
Secondary: Impact of fermentation on a wine
Tertiary Flavors: White wines can age in oak barrels or in bottles. Oak barrels allow small amounts of air to flow through them slowly changing the flavor, and even color, of the wine through a process called “oxidation”. Have you ever cut an apple in half and had it turn brown on you? That’s oxidation! Even storing wine in bottles can change the flavor of the wine over time.
Tertiary: Impact of storage and / or aging on a wine