10 Wine Tasting Tips for your next visit to a wine estate
We’ve gathered a few wine tasting tips for you to put into action when you next visit the Plett Wine Route. No doubt, these will come in handy whilst you sample some of our fabulous harvest wines during a wine tasting session together with one of our cheese platters. Otherwise use them whilst you’re settled on your private deck at sunset – during your stay at Packwood.
Wine tasting tips for the avid wine taster
- If you want the best wine tasting experience, avoid coffee or spicy foods before sampling wines. Make sure that your palate is ‘clean’. The best way to do this is to thoroughly rinse your mouth with water. Avoid brushing your teeth too close to the time; this will also affect your wine-tasting abilities.
- The most important tip when wine tasting, is to come with an open mind. Any pre-conceived notions may spoil the experience somewhat and detract from the activity. Start your journey before you arrive at the wine tasting – enjoy the ride to Packwood Estate and take in the amazing views.
- Be present. Listen to the soft cork murmur as the bottle is opened; feel the slender stem of the glass; smell the earthy aromas. Hold the glass up to a white background or into the light. Look at the beautiful hue of the wine. Give the glass a slight tilt so that the wine runs to the edge of the glass – this will allow you to see the lighter luminous shades of the wine. Savour each sip and let all your senses take part in the activity – see if you can taste the subtle notes of each distinct wine.
- Between tasting each bouquet, cleanse your palate with a few sips of water. This will neutralise your palate back to a fresh start, ready for the next new sip…
- Look out for ‘wine legs’. While sampling the wine, notice the slender droplets that run down the glass. Many people claim to be able to ‘read the legs’ and believe that these streaks yield information about the harvest. Yet, in reality these ‘legs’ are merely an indicator of how much alcohol is present in the wine. These ‘tears of a wine’ do look pretty though, so keep an eye out for them – if nothing else.
- It’s poor wine etiquette to be too opinionated about the wine or too prescriptive towards your host when wine tasting at any venue. While sampling our wines at Packwood, please keep in mind that we are a family run winery. We appreciate polite debate about wine, and value all customer feedback. We will provide you with an informative tasting experience. Please DO ask questions! (wine related or otherwise).
“We dont mind if you want to quaff, sniff, sip, snort or gaggle, spit or swallow, whatever you like just remember to have fun – there isnt any wine snobbery here.” Vicky Gent (Owner)
- It is customary to purchase at least one bottle of wine at a wine tasting. Even if no particular wine ‘grabs’ you, a bottle of wine is always a great gift idea for a friend (and they are bound to appreciate the thought!).
- Consider booking for a for a handcrafted cheese platter to enjoy after your tasting, while continuing with your wine experience on the estate.
- Finally, the terms of the trade: a ‘harmonious wine’ will have all it’s flavours integrated seamlessly. A sign of an exceptional young wine? If all the subtle flavours present together as a whole. A ‘complex wine’ is said to ‘dance in your mouth’. The more you taste, the more you discover. A good test is to see how long the flavours linger in your mouth after you swallow. Note, there is a difference between a pleasant lingering and a nasty aftertaste. A wine should not dominate, but rather reveal itself and it’s secrets to you slowly with each sip. Finally, the best is a ‘complete wine’ – a wine that has the complexity and is also evolved, harmonious and well-balanced. Give such wines extra attention!
- We encourage all wine tasters (both new and experienced) to keep a wine journal. Scribble down the wines you enjoy and those you dislike. Make a note of the different characteristics of the wines you sample – these snippets will become invaluable as you grow as a wine-lover and start to find and choose wines on your own.
Packwood is a small boutique wine estate producing small amounts of wine, we do therefore charge a nominal fee which is deducted when purchasing a case of wine. We hope to create some good memories for you!