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Wine drinking is a multidimensional experience, and is savored by all our senses. The ability to identify the subtlest of flavors and aromas takes a bit of practice but only adds to the pleasure with time. The physical pleasures of the flavor and aroma of wine do also carry a psychological element. In fact, scents that are experienced with wine carry a science that falls back on your archived scents, a fact that renders the ability to identify aromas to be quite relative. The volatile compounds that you sense are similarly found in other fruits or foods that you’ve previously experienced. Interestingly enough, the aromas you identify in a glass of wine might not be the same ones someone else would first pick up from that same bottle.
The aromatic complex coming from wine is mainly due to the grape variety, terroir, and oak. Young wines are generally known to exhibit primary aromas that mainly come from the fruit; such as notes of berry and black cherry. When it comes to white wine, the primary aromas range between citrus to tropical fruits. Additionally, floral and licorice notes are also sensed in a young wine. Coffee, vanilla, or chocolate notes that come from oak are generally considered secondary aromas that come with the aging process.
A great way to pick favorites when it comes to wine is to know a few categories that are based on aroma (setting aside taste, body and color). One way is to identify whether the aroma you’ve identified is off a black or red fruit (in the case of red wine) or, in the case of white wine, a citrus or tree fruit. Based on the notes that you prefer, you can make your selection from the wines that are famous for carrying that specific aroma.
The aroma, though complex, is only part of the entire wine experience, and with time will only serve to enhance it. Keep this in mind with your next selection of wine from 209, and enjoy the discovery!
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Like coffee, developing a more nuanced palate for wine can take time. But that shouldn’t put you off straying away from the tried and tested route. After all, your next favorite wine could be just a glass away!
If you are more of a social wine drinker, start with wines that are considered less complex – generally wines made from single grape varieties or a blend of two grapes are easier to get to know better.
The starting point to the discovery of new wines is to understand what you like. Once you have a few favorites and have identified the kinds of wines you like (full bodied or easy to drink? Crisp or fruity? Oaky or spicy?) you can start experimenting.
Looking to develop your palate? Here are a few tips:
1. Develop a “nose”: Sniff, sniff, sniff! Try and identify smells you are familiar with. Lemon, peach, vanilla… even leather or toast. You’ll be surprised how many scents you can pick out once you start paying attention.
2. Aspirate: It’s good form to slurp your wine… ok, maybe only a little bit. Sip the wine while sucking in a little bit of air and let it roll around your mouth in order to release its inherent flavors. Just like the sniff test, you’ll soon be able to taste more flavors associated with other every day foods and materials.\
3. Jot it down: By noting the different textures and flavors, you will start developing your personal wine reference – a trick that makes all the difference in really getting to know what you like.
Given the great diversity of Lebanese wine, it is always the right time to start experiencing new flavors and aromas, and discovering new wine producing areas. From Lebanon’s more famous wineries to little boutique producers in the mountains, you can start appreciating the amazing variety of Lebanese wine in an authentic setting – almost all Lebanon’s wineries are an easy road trip from the big cities.
Part of feeding your curiosity is to read up on some of the wines produced across the country. Some background information would definitely come in handy when tasting, but would also give you insights into a particular winery’s unique story. Stories of vintners and wineries explain vision, but also technique and character.
Want to try something new at home? Search through our wines , play with our filters to tell us what you like and we’ll recommend the best choices for you. And have it delivered right to your door!
Still unsure of what you’d like to try? Send us your questions and we will be more than happy to help.