lol, julia is giving wine advice on the experiences blog
Guys, we just want your life to be awesome. Anything we can do to help, we’re in. And today, in the interest in providing you with some good advice before embarking on the North Fork Wine Tour Experience or any other wine tasting you might have lying ahead of you, we turned to our dear colleague Julia for some pro wine-tasting tips. You may recognize Julia from such pinnacle achievements as presiding over all of GroupMe Support. Before her post at GroupMe, she toiled away at a wine-related internet start-up, cultivating a modest heap of ace wine wisdom. After like three days of constant, desperate groveling, we convinced her to impart a few nuggets of wine wisdom here.
1. GAZE ADORINGLY AT YOUR WINE
You’ll probably want to take a moment before tasting to look pensively into your glass and, essentially, taste the wine with your eyes. (To avoid any confusion, we do not mean pouring the wine on your face.)
Julia ProTip: Do not hold wine up to the light to look at the color of it, as this will instantly reveal you as a fraud. The way that true sommeliers assess a wine’s color is by holding it against a white surface (i.e., a sheet of white paper, perhaps a page from your stock portfolio or the back of a stack of checks).
In describing the appearance of the wine, some acceptable adjectives include:
Bright, dull, clear, dense, hazy, luminous, flat, deep, opaque.
Julia recommends against using descriptive adjectives like:
scaly, birthy, sweaty, grimy, slimy, any controversial racial descriptors.
2. SWIRL THE WINE AROUND IN THE GLASS
The aromas you are releasing by swirling the wine will foreshadow what you’re about to taste. During this step, Julia reminds us that it’s important not to splash the wine out of the glass all over oneself or bystanders.
3. MOUTH TIME!
When you actually taste the wine, Julia reminds us not to take in the entire third of a glass in one hearty gulp. Take your time, be thoughtful (or at least look thoughtful), and be prepared to describe the wine to your hosts.
Acceptable descriptors for wine tasters: Ample, austere, big, bitter, buttery, cherries, mushrooms, plums, leather (Shiraz), roses and tar (Nebbiolo), grass (Savignon blanc), petrol (Reisling), any minerals, any herbs, vigorous, smooth, mellow, lively, earthy (reds), red fruit (reds), stone fruit (whites), and — Julia’s personal favorite — cloying (particularly for a not-so-great wine, with a lousy balance of sweetness and acidity).
Inadvisable was to describe wine: Boozy, raisiny, grape juice, beef jerky, prehistoric, driveway gravel, ketchup, hairspray, human muscle, fertilizer, shoe leather, magnets, my grandmother’s house, “like white wine but red.”
Now, you should be fully prepared to conscientiously partake in a wine-tasting with the classiest of company. We’d love to hear how it goes! Feel free to email us with some of your favorite wine adjectives, your favorite East Coast vineyards, your favorite NYC wine bars.
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