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Sip And Savour

Contributed by: News Canada

How to have a winetasting party (NC) - "Winetasting should be a delightful experience", says Rossana Magnotta, spokesperson for the award-winning vintner, Magnotta Winery "It should involve everyone and the atmosphere is half the enjoyment." Magnotta Winery (www.magnotta. com) has seven locations across Ontario with each retail store offering more than 150 wine varieties and a complimentary wine tasting bar. Winetasting is not as difficult as some experts would like us to believe, following these five simple steps will open a new world of wine enjoyment for any enthusiast. Why not try a winetasting party this spring?

Sip and Savour

  • Observe: Hold the wine glass by its base or stem at a 45 degree angle so as to keep from heating or leaving fingerprints on the bowl. Hold the glass to a white sheet of paper or tablecloth and assess the wine's clarity, color, hue and intensity. The wine should be clear and pleasing to the eye.

  • Smell: Bring the glass to within an inch of the end of your nose and inhale (nose) once and deeply (more than one deep inhalation will provide little in the way of additional aromatic perspective). The aroma should be pleasant and inviting.

  • Swirl & Smell: Swirl the sample in your glass to the best of your ability and before it stops swirling completely - taking a single second inhalation just as the first. The aroma should be pleasant and inviting - only more intense than before. Swirling introduces oxygen into the wine by increasing the surface area of wine exposed to it.

  • Taste (mouthfeel): Take a small sip and hold the wine in the mouth while introducing air - don't be afraid to make rude noises! Keep the wine in your mouth and run it over all parts of your tongue so as to get all of your taste buds 'in on the act'. You should feel tempted to take a second sip.

  • Assess: Spit out the sample and make your assessment as to flavor profile, mouthfeel and length. The wine should linger on the palate in a pleasant manner after having been spat. A pleasant aftertaste should remain. The final conclusion yours to draw.

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