The Secrets of Wine Tasting Uncorked: 6 Tips to Help your Learn How to Spot a Good Vintage and Choose Your Bottles Wisely

It is easy and not very exciting to walk into a liquor store to purchase wine. You can ask the sales representative about different wines and walk out with a good bottle of wine. But, going to the actual wineries is a lot more fun. And, you get to taste the wines and decide for yourself which wines taste best. There is a cost for wine tours, but it is worth it for the entertainment value and for the opportunity to purchase fine wines at their source. Going on a wine tasting tour with friends is a great way to spend a day or even a weekend.

Enjoy a Day or Two on a Wine Tour

Depending on the part of the country, you can find weekend wine tours to enjoy alone, as a couple, or with friends. Go to hermannwinetrail.com to learn about wine tours offered in Missouri wine country. This group of wineries including Adam Puchta Winery, Bias Vineyards, Dierberg Star Lane, Hermannhof Winery, Robller Vineyard, Stone Hill Winery, and OakGlenn Vineyards offers specially themed wine tours throughout the year. Some tours include the Chocolate Wine Trail, The Farmer’s Table wine Trail, the Berries & BarBQ Wine Trail, the Wild Bacon Wine Trail, and the Holiday Fare Wine Trail.

The website for this group of winemakers lists times and costs for anyone who is contemplating a wine tasting tour. These tours might just be worth travelling to even if you don’t live in the area. A person can go online and list their area to find nearby wineries and wine tasting tours. Then plan a fun day or two with friends or as a couple. While on the tour, people taste many wines and then choose bottles to purchase and take home to enjoy. The trick is to keep all those wines you taste straight and purchase the right ones.

vintage wine

What Makes a Good or Exceptional Wine?

So, what makes a great wine vintage? There are six factors that need to be in place for good or great wine to be produced by winemakers.

  1. Weather conditions that encourage rapid, early flowering on grapevines and good fecundation to assure a large yield that ripens at the correct time.
  2. The vegetative growth on the vine must stop before the colour change so the goodness from the roots can go into the grapes rather than extra vine growth.
  3. Enough hydric stress at the fruit-set to determine the berries’ tannic content and limit the growth of the young berries.
  4. The grapes must mature completely with the correct sugar content and other factors. The leaf canopy must function at optimum levels until harvest.
  5. Good weather for grape crops must happen during the vintage year. There should be no rot or dilution. The weather must let all of the grapes achieve full maturity.
  6. The vineyard must spend the money on the numerous operations called for in the vineyard to make great wine. Cut costs and lose quality. Some tasks include green pruning or crop thinning, Sometimes, de-leafing needs to be done twice. Secondary removal of buds and shoot removal so all the nutrition from the roots goes to the grapes and aids ripening. Throughout the growing season, the grapes and their vines need to be carefully watched and cared for.

Then There are 6 Tips for Finding Good Vintages

Experts suggest 6 ways to find good vintages and buy wine wisely.

  1. Before going wine tasting or shopping, take the time to do some research online. Go to sites that rate wines and note the good wine years in each wine-producing area. Which years did the weather cooperate for a perfect harvest and good wines? Some newer wines are very good. Wines do not have to be old to be good. There are wine vintage charts from places like The Wine Society and more that can be helpful. They rate location, years, and wine varieties with a number and symbol system.
  2. Pick up the wine bottles and read the back label as well as the front one. The back labels can give additional information about the wine. Then ask for recommendations from the wine steward. Labels containing stamps of approval or rewards and good reviews are signs of good wine.
  3. Check out the wine like a pro. Swirl and sniff the wine sample and note the aroma and how the wine runs down the glass.
  4. Now taste the wine by taking a small sip and let it move around your tongue. Try to guess how many flavours are combined and how complex the wine is. Different wines are known for different tastes. Some wine types or varieties with distinctive tastes include Riesling, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
  5. Then choose the wines that you like. There are many good or great wines, but you won’t like them all and some will stand out for you. There are good wines and better wines in every type of wine from white wines to burgundies to red wines and other varieties. Do you prefer a sweet wine, a dry white wine, or red wine? Then there is the choice of wines for different uses and pairing with different foods. It can be important to choose the best wine for the meal.
  6. Good wines come with corks and with screw tops. Some producers prefer the screw tops for their fine wines. Screw tops are often used for wines meant to be consumed within a year.

If you are serious about choosing the best wine vintages for your taste, carry a small notebook or even use your smartphone to keep track of the wines you taste and like or the wines that you purchase and like. It is also a good idea to keep track of wines you don’t like so you don’t purchase them again. Remember, it takes a lot of money to grow good grapes and make good wine. The best wines are not cheap, but they can be very affordable. Don’t let price dictate your wine choice. Expensive wine is not always the best wine.

Select wine based on what you like in flavour and other characteristics and on the occasion. After these considerations, you can make your final choice considering the price. A more expensive wine might go on sale, giving people a chance to try it at a discount.