Food (recommendations not supplied)
The best food to work with the variety of wines you have for tasting is plain water crackers. However, after you have done your initial taste of each wine, some people enjoy having an assortment of things to eat on hand to experiment on their own what flavours go with each wine. Some suggestions are; lightly salted crisps (or truffle flavoured crisps), some different cheeses, bread sticks, nuts are just a few. Just nothing too robust in texture or flavour.
Wine & Cheese Session: If you are joining for a Wine & Cheese Session, even if you are providing the cheese, it is good to include some other tastes, like crisps, nuts, or quince pastes and chutney along with your crackers. If you have been provided with a fortified wine, such as a Port or a sweet Sherry, chocolate is also a nice way to finish your tasting.
It is always a good idea to have water to drink and to rinse your mouth out between wines. This helps to neutralise your sense of taste and smell between samples. Tannins in red wines may also dry your mouth out so water may come in handy after a particularly tannic red wine.
Wine professionals spit out wine into a spittoon after rolling the wine around their mouth. While many people attending an informal course have a choice about whether they will do this, please have a spittoon handy in case you do not enjoy a wine and need to tip the rest of the wine away if you lack a glass for each sample of wine provided.
What works as a spittoon? Anything that holds water can be used. It is up to you what you use. It can be a large mug, jug or anything. I use a large, metallic, insulated coffee cup but a plastic/paper cup is also just fine.
Hint: when you are emptying liquid from whatever you have used, make sure you run the hot water to flush the plug hole for a minute.
A bright space is best so you might see clearly through the wine. Also where possible, it is best to try to eliminate all distracting scents (including kitchen scents, flowers, smoke, scented candles) from the room.
While it will make your tasting experience easier to follow this guide, however, the main aim is to enjoy your tasting.
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