The Amateur’s Guide to Wine Tasting in Italy

The Amateur’s Guide to Wine Tasting in Italy
September 7, 2013 Sierra Greenman
In Food and Wine

Everyone knows that Italy is world-famous for its decadent food. Many of us would classify Italian foods as comfort foods: delicious pasta cooked to perfection with melt-in-your mouth sauce, sharp and creamy cheeses with a variety of marvelous textures, fish and beef cooked to satisfy. The only thing that can make real Italian food better is a good wine, which is available in abundance in Italy. Even if you’re not a wine connoisseur, don’t miss out on tasting the full flavor and layers wine can add to your delicious dinners on your visit to Italy. Here are a few tips to prepare yourself for experiencing the full flavor of your dinner and wine.

Take a Class

Before you fly over the ocean, take a simple class with a few friends to learn more about wine tasting. The instructor will tell you the steps to go through to experience the full flavor of your wine and will give you some ideas for what types of wine go best with particular foods. When you arrive in Italy, you should also ask waiters what they recommend if you’re feeling stumped.

Practice

Wine tasting actually involves a lot of chemistry, but don’t let that intimidate you if science isn’t your thing. Because wine is typically fairly acidic, you have to taste it a few times to give your tongue a chance to adjust to the acid. Your tongue’s first reaction upon taking a sip of wine is to reject it because of its acidity. Use your first sip to get your tongue used to the acidity. During your second sip, hold the wine in your mouth for at least thirty seconds, washing your entire tongue in its flavors. By the time you reach the third sip, your taste buds are ready to receive the actual flavors. Never judge a wine until the third sip. Pay attention to the different hints of flavor you experience.

Pair with Food

Taste the same wine with a few different foods, and note how the flavor changes. Different hints of flavor will come to life depending on the food you pair with the wine – this is why many people are such huge fans of wine tasting. While you’re in Italy, go on a taste adventure by trying new dishes and wines. Wine changes the act of eating into a richer experience.

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