Artisan Wine Review
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How to Spill and Rinse

Over the years we've witnessed many thousands of people in the act of tasting wines, and we've noticed a pattern.
It doesn't matter whether the occasion was a charity wine-tasting event, or if it occurred inside a winery's tasting room, or even while attending a winemaker's dinner at a fashionable restaurant, there is something happening that needs to be addressed.
It would appear that the majority of wine tasters could use a little guidance when it comes to the action of spilling out the contents of one's glass, and the subsequent rinsing out that same glass in preparation of their next wine.

We see many people at tastings just dumping the remaining contents of their glass, and then filling that same glass with tap water.   Next, they quickly dump the water out so they can move on to sampling the next wine.

Here is how we suggest people can improve their spill and rinse technique:
  • Dumping the contents of your glass into a dump bucket is fine, just try to do so gently and away from others who might accidentally get splashed.
  • When rinsing, We prefer using distilled water or bottled water whenever possible.   Keep in mind that tap water contains both chlorine and fluoride.   These chemicals can linger and slightly affect the aromas coming out of your freshly rinsed, wine glass.
  • Also, it is not necessary to rinse your glass after every wine tasted.   The basic rule is: If you are going from a lighter styled wine to a heavier bodied wine, you most likely will not need to rinse out your wine glass.   An exception is when the lighter wine being dumped out is one that is extremely aromatic, such as a Viognier or a young Sauvignon Blanc.
  • A quick dump and rinse allows wine remaining on the sides of the glass to remain and influence the flavor and aroma of the next wine being tasted, therefore the next two parts are the keys to proper wine glass rinsing.
  • Before spilling out the rinse water in your glass, take a small sip to help cleanse your palate.   The heavily diluted mixture of water and wine will certainly help in alleviating any chance of taste bud fatigue.
  • Finally, the critical technique needed for rinsing out a glass is that it must be done slowly, and with a rotating, downward motion in order to allow the entirety of the inside surface be coated with the rinsing liquid.  This is the key step that separates the serious tasters from the more casual, social sippers at wine tasting events.
Whenever possible, if you follow the above instructions, you will start to enjoy the process of wine tasting more, as well as benefiting from a heightened sense of taste perception.

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