Monday, February 18, 2008

Jancis Robinson's How to Taste - Lesson 1

I’ve taken my first steps from Jancis Robinson’s How to Taste book and it had nothing to do with wine.

On page 15 of her book, she suggests that the next time you taste something, try tasting a mouthful first with your nose pinched and then again with it open.

The point she’s looking to prove is that the nose has just as much if not more to do with how we experience wine than when the wine actually interacts with the tongue and taste.

To test this out, I had my wife put various pieces of vegetables behind her back while I tasted them with my eye’s shut. The exercise was meant to illustrate that it’s really hard to pick out what you’re tasting if you don’t have the aromatic information to help out.

She proved her point. While I found it relatively easy to pick out the vegetables based off texture, broccoli for example has a very distinct texture but when plugging up the nose, you really don’t get its essence. The same held true with the peppers, carrots, and cucumbers. This exercise was also particularly interesting with cheeses who get much of their character from aroma but that gets muted with a plugged up nose.

The practice makes sense when we think about how little we taste when we have a cold. She just wants to make sure we understand that wine gets most of its character from its aroma.
Tune in next time when we tackle acidity and bitterness in a relatively unpleasant way!

1 comment:

wine said...

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