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Orange Coast Winery

Douglas Wiens
July 28, 2017 | Douglas Wiens

The 4 Mortal Enemies of an Accurate Wine Tasting

Be sure to address these key components before you start sampling

If you’re an avid wine drinker, you may have attended a tasting or two. Tastings can be educational and fun and they are an excellent way to learn about a new type of wine or a recently-discovered vineyard. Wine tastings also make for great parties, and if you have like-minded friends, perhaps it’s time to think about hosting your own.

But before you start assembling the guest list and wondering which bottles you should pick up, it’s important to think logistically. While you’ll want everyone to have a good time, the wine is really the star of the show. You don’t want it to be overshadowed. When planning a wine tasting, don’t forget about these taste-bud killers:

Strong smells

Because smell is such a big factor when tasting wines, you should make sure that your home is as scent-free as possible. This means that if you are going to cook, don’t fry up meat or prepare other things with aromas that could saturate the air. Don’t lay the cologne or perfume on too thick, and try to encourage your guests to follow suit.

Loud noises

A good wine tasting requires a fair amount of concentration, but this doesn’t mean the event has to be church-quiet. Music is a good idea. In fact, according to a thorough research review, certain types of music can actually allow people to enjoy their wine more. One study conducted at Oxford University compared different types of classical music and found that “the music playing in the background exerted a significant influence over people’s wine ratings … In particular, the wines were rated as tasting significantly fruitier while listening to Rachmaninoff than to Debussy.”

Harsh lighting

Another potential distraction during a wine tasting is the surrounding environment, and the lighting specifically. While you will of course want your guests to be able to see what they’re sampling, turn the lights down a bit. If you have a dimmer switch, this is the perfect opportunity to use it.

Unclean palates

Of course, the key to tasting wine is all about the palate. Just as you do not want smelly foods at your tasting, you don’t want anything spicy or sweet either. Crackers or bread are great palate cleansers because they can soak up any flavors that linger. Fresh fruits, veggies, or cheeses are also good food choices. And don’t forget about having enough water close by for palate-cleansing purposes and to keep your guests hydrated.

Hosting a tasting is a great way to share your love of wine with fellow aficionados. But if you would rather not go through all the trouble of doing it yourself, you and your friends can simply head over to Orange Coast Winery. Our tasting room is open every day, so you can come in whenever you like to sample our wines. For more information about Orange Coast Winery or our selection of wines, give us a call at 949-645-0400. 


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