Written for Bristol Bites by Ximena Barnard
There’s an increasing demand for wine tasting in the United Kingdom because of the quantity and quality of English wine produced in the vast vineyards of England and Wales. If you’re a newbie, you can expand your knowledge about wines with wine tasting when you travel to the UK. Get to visit innovative wine lounges, wine houses, and vineyards and enjoy wine tasting.
Check out these wine tasting tips for you to truly enjoy your UK travel experience.
Prepare Some Water and Oyster Crackers
If you’re planning on trying several full-bodied red wines in a row, you have to come prepared with water and oyster crackers. Usually, tasting rooms serve these palate cleansers, but it’s always a good idea to have some ready, most especially if you’re travelling in different wineries. In this way, you stay hydrated and refresh your taste buds at the same time.
Swirl the Wine and Sniff
Smell plays a vital role in the sense of taste. Don’t forget to swirl the wine in the glass before you sip. Lower your nose close to the rim of the glass and inhale the wine deeply before you taste it. Oxygen enters the wine with this swirling action, which will become more fragrant.
Before tasting the wine, taking a strong whiff will prime your palate for the expected flavours, which will prepare your taste buds for the wine tasting.
Spit or Swallow
Most wineries today are offering smaller portions for wine tastings, about two or three ounces. That’s why there are lower chances of intoxication. Go ahead and sip the wine into your mouth. Swish it and allow it to dance over your tongue while you’re savouring the flavours, and then finally swallow it if you truly love the wine.
But you can always spit out a taste of wine, most especially if you’ll be visiting several wineries in just one day. Staff members won’t feel insulted or grossed out because it’s a normal activity in wine tasting as wine samples quickly add up. If you hate the wine, you can pour the rest of the sample in the “spittoon” bucket, which is commonplace at wine tastings.
Create a Well-themed Wine Flight
If you want to make the most out of your wine tasting experience when travelling in the UK, it’s essential to have a well-themed wine flight. It’s a type of wine tasting with all wines included on the wine list that have something in common. For instance, you can compare wines that came from a specific region in the UK or study vintage wines from different wineries.
Light to Heavy Wines
Wine tours in the UK allow you to acquire the taste of wines. For newbies, going from lighter wines (whites) to heavier wines (reds) is highly recommended. Acidic whites are crisp, and roses cleanse the palate. On the other hand, tannic reds are bold, making it more challenging to taste.
Here are the reasons why you should start from lighter to heavier wines:
- If you start wine tasting with heavier wines and then go lighter, the flavours of subsequent wines will taste washed out or muted, making comparison difficult.
- Because sweetness is a palate-blaster, it’s better to taste any dessert wines at the end.
- Start from light to full-bodied white wines to rosés and from fruity red wines to tannic reds, reserving dessert wines as the last for you to enjoy the best wine tasting experience in the UK.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions
Winemakers would surely love to answer your questions about their product. By doing so, you’ll easily understand the different types of wines, their origin, and how they are produced. It also pays off researching before wine tasting, by looking into what a specific wine-producing region in the UK is known for.
Take Notes and Photos
Of course, you won’t remember everything in wine tasting. It helps taking notes using your pen and notebook or a notepad in your smartphone, and take some photos. By doing so, you’ll easily remember the wines you loved, and you can share the wine tasting experience with your family and friends when you get home or via social media.
Wine tasting in the United Kingdom can be a unique and fun experience for newbies. Feel this royalty activity, and never forget all the learning so you can create a meaningful wine tasting experience on your next UK travel.
Go ahead and swirl the wine glass, inhale the flavour, and sip the best English wines. Start with the lighter ones to full-bodied whites, roses, full-bodied reds, tannic red wines, and dessert wines to complete your wine tasting experience in the UK.