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Sight, Smell and Savouring of Wine

Unlike most beverages, there is something mystical and unique about wine. No two vintages are exactly the same and it is constantly evolving in both bottle and glass. Although technology lends a hand to improve efficiency in winemaking and maintaining consistency in quality, elements such as storage, handling, and food pairing can affect how it tastes.

The pleasure of wine tasting will always continue to intrigue and inspire the curious for more. The journey of a curious wine drinker starts from understanding the colour, aroma and the flavour of wine.

Our House Pour currently. (Subjected to changes)

Sight is the process of examining the hue to the wine. Tip the wine glass slightly against a white background to assess the clarity and its hue. The clarity of wine determines its quality. One that looks cloudy can be an indication of spoilage. The hue of the wine offers hints of the grape variety, as well as the age of the wine. A clear cherry hue may indicate a Pinot Noir, while one with some purplish tint indicates a Shiraz. Young wine is usually bright and vibrant, and an older wine will have a brim of brick-like amber for red, and a deep gold to almost orange hue for a white wine. The “legs” of the wine is an indication of the viscosity of the wine. These are droplets that flow down on the side of the glass after swirling. It is not particularly an indication of alcohol or sugar level.

The next essential step to wine tasting is the smell of the wine. This is probably the most important step as what is detected in the smell will and should be noted in the taste. Flaws of wine such as “Corked”, “Brett” and “Oxidised” can be revealed at this stage. Without aroma flaws, there should be notes of fruits such as strawberry, blueberry and lemon, botanicals such as flowers, vegetables, spices and foliage, earthiness such as mushroom and leather, mineral such as gravel, limestone and earth, and oak barrel described as toast, chocolate, smoked, vanilla and nuts. As wine interacts with air, there will be secondary aromas such as yeast in Champagne, butterscotch and caramel in Chardonnay, and honey in dessert wine such as Sauterne.

As one sips the wine, take in some air, and let it circulate throughout your mouth for a moment, savour and note the flavours. Almost all the aromas will be echoed in the flavours. Tasting the wine reveals its balance (sweetness, acidity or tannins), texture (soft, or heat of alcohol, and forwardness), weight (light, medium or full bodied), complexity (depth, finesse, harmony and focus), and the way it finish as one swallow. When wine is paired with food, flavours of the wine will either be enhanced or dulled. A complete wine is a good wine, drank at the right stage of its bottling that have all the key elements indicated above in balance, and harmonised with the food that has been savoured with. A complete wine is also a wine that you will keep coming back for simply because you enjoyed it.

Available at CAVEMEN Restaurant & Bar.
Brussels Sprout: $14, Fiery Chicken Wings: $14 (Before GST)

– Sueann


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