Introduction: Looking at Wine

What's the point in tasting wine?

This is a reasonable question, if wine evokes for you the image of a wine snob, pinky extended, mouthing fancy talk.

Certainly no similar mystique surrounds Pepsi-Cola, iced tea or milk.

But wine is different.

It's the only beverage I know that appeals to both the senses and the intellect.

If you take the time to look for it, every glass contains a lesson in history, geography, agriculture, botany; sometimes anthropology, religion, psychology and more.

There's no reason to be snobbish about wine, and none to fear it. But it's well worth talking about and sharing with friends. (We call a "snob-free zone" because we avoid taking wine too seriously, and we recommend that you do the same. This stuff is supposed to be fun. You don't have to pass a test to enjoy it, and you needn't learn a new language.

The idea behind wine tasting is as simple as this: Slow down. Relax and take the time to think about what you're drinking and to enjoy it with all your senses. (Well, all except hearing. Nobody listens to wine.)

Examine its color. Is it clear or hazy, transparent or opaque?

Take a deep sniff. Does it smell like fruit? Flowers? Road tar or sweat sox?

Got it? Take a drink. Take two. Swish it around your mouth, sensing not only its taste but its texture and weight. Don't worry about looks; you're enjoying yourself.

Put it all together in your head. Think about where it came from. Sip again and enjoy. You won't get all this out of a Pepsi!

Quick Wine Tasting Course
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