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Oct 28, 2014
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We can chug down beer and knock back shameless quantities of tequila. But on this occasion, we'll be trying to act a little less glug-glug and a little more classy. Why? Because we heard that girls sometimes like the civilized wine-drinking sophisticate more than the typical rowdy drunken beast.

With the help of Sofitel Philippines Plaza’s Wine Days– a series of events that takes you on a journey through the vineyards of France this October–we were given a crash course in wine tasting. There we were accorded the chance to screw off of a few corks and given lessons on the elements that make up a fine bottle--lessons we'll now share to you, dear beer lover.

Below is a guide to get you started in the Art Of Wine that will hopefully earn you some brownie points with your honey and her sophisticated fantasies.

1) USE YOUR SENSES

Debonair good looks, optional. 

Before you can consider yourself a connoisseur, be mindful of the fact that there are three parts to consider when it comes to the art of wine tasting. And all three utilize the senses, namely:

Sight: Sommeliers (a.k.a. the wine pro) of the non-poser kind first check the color of the wine before ingesting it. Pour the wine into a clear, appropriate wine glass. Take a look at the hue under sufficient lighting. Is it dense or transparent? Does it look lush or light? A wine’s color can be indicative of the potency of its taste and flavor.

Smell: Resist your urge to guzzle the refreshing liquid. After examining it with your eyes, give the wine a little swirl around the glass. Stick your nose in and get a feel for what experts call the bouquet–this is the olfactory occurrence attached to wine tasting. Does it smell fruity with hints of spice? Yum! Are you getting wafts of oak and reminiscing about your dead grandpa? Awww. Or does it smell like week-old feet? Bleh.  

Taste: Finally, you can take a taste. But don’t down the glass, wino! Take a sip and swish it around and allow the wine to coat your entire mouth. Note the tastes. Is it buttery, smoky, or sharp? Does it linger long or is it subtle to the tongue? Now pros will spit the wine out, but we suggest you swallow in order to maximize the alcohol content, erm, we mean experience.

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2) STEP UP YOUR CHEESE GAME

No, not that kind of cheese game, Casanova. 

 

There’s a common misconception that pairing cheese with wine can only be done with bottles of red. This is totally false, as certain kinds of cheeses mix well with whites, too.

There are four kinds of cheeses: bloomy, hard, blue, and fresh. The common thing to do is to pair a bloomy cheese like Camembert and Brie with sparkling wines or chardonnay, or maybe following up a bite of hard Gouda with an aged Merlot.

Just like in food pairing, finding that match made in culinary heaven depends heavily on different factors like acidity, fat, and texture. Although we’d say that rule of thumb should be: if it tastes awesome together, then give it a shot. Pulutan lang yan! Wag masyadong seryosohin!

NEXT: A crash course on wine flavors


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