Wine Riot plus 5 tips on Wine

A couple weeks ago, I snagged a pair of free  tickets to Wine Riot from Yelp. Wine Riot is basically a massive wine tasting including over 250 different wines from around the world. It is both educational and fun, filled with plenty of libations, temporary tattoos, DJs, free swag, and wine 101 crash courses. Ryan couldn’t make it because he was running his first marathon, but that meant I got to spend the afternoon with my friend Chas (who is not only an amazing vocalist/musician, but also a super pediatrician too). We had such a blast getting our drink on and learning about wines.

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Octopus + Large Quantities of Wine =Drunktopus

I have been reading a lot of wines lately (here and here). Here are a few tips and learning points I’ve picked up along the way!

1. Of the six taste sensations (sour, bitter, fat, salty, sweet, and umami), only two are important in wine tasting: Sweetness and Acidity. 

Wine has no salt, fat, bitterness, or strong umami flavors. So when you are tasting a wine, focus on how sweet and acidic it is.

2. Dry wine is still wet. 

In wine lingo, “dry” does not mean “not wet” (although Sec in French, trocken in German, and secco in Italian translate to “not wet”). In the wine world, this “dry” means “not sweet”. Dry wines such as Australian Chardonnay have no noticeable presence of sugar.

3. Dry wine does not equal mouth-drying. 

Red wines contain tannin that dry out the mouth after tasting. Just because it makes your tongue dry, does not mean it is a dry wine. Remember “dry” means “not sweet” in the wine world!

 4. Wines have legs.

No, they can’t walk. A wine’s “legs” or “tears” can help you determine the weight of the wine though. After swirling, a wine’s texture or thickness can be seen when the wine slides down the sides of a glass. The heavier the wine, the slower the drips fall down the side.

5. How much to pour?

A full-glass pour is 5 ounces. This is the correct amount for cocktail parties, wine served before dinner, casual meals with a single course, or wines by the glass in restaurants.

A half-glass pour is 2.5 ounces. This is the correct portion for toasts and wine tastings, after-dinner wines,  multiple course meals served with multiple wines, or wines by the bottle in restaurants.

Also, when dining out, rule of thumb is to get  a standard 750 mL bottle of wine for every 2 guests, which will be 2.5 glasses per guest.

Do you have any favorite wines? Please share! I’d love to try!

-Lisa

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