tasting technique

Got the wine in your mouth? Good. Now count to six...

California winemaker Heidi Barrett has a clever little routine to train the palate, and also to get a feeling for the overall quality of a wine

I do it on a count of six. I divide it into initial palate, mid palate, and finish. Each of these categories gets a count of two: Initial palate would be one and two [...], mid palate three and four [...] and the finish would be five and six. [...] When I taste wine, I want 1-2-3-4-5-6, this silky impression from start to finish, it running on all cylinders, no holes in the program, a complete wine with everything filled out. Cabernet Franc, for instance, can be just one and two, where the flavours drop off after the first nice burst of fruit, it falls of a cliff. Merlot is often just three and four. A lot of Cabernet [Sauvignon] is 3-4-5-6.

Neat, hah? See Heidi Barrett explain it to Gary Vaynerchuk, at 12:20 in the video:

Julian Friday, 18/09/2009