When you bring friends together for an evening of wine tasting, do you ever struggle with the order you choose to serve the wines? This article is intended to help you through those rough 🙂 times, so you can feel more confident and relaxed about your wine tasting.
The reality is you can drink your wine in any order. But the tastes of certain wines will diminish or damage the tastes of the wines that follow. So following a few simple rules to get your wine tasting order right (or at least close) is your safest bet. Recognize that when food is involved, these rules are likely to be broken. Have no fear. Breaking the rules is fine, even when food isn’t involved.
Whites Before Reds
Drinking lighter whites before bigger reds helps prevent the bigger reds from dulling your palate to the subtleties of the lighter bodied whites.
Light Body Before Heavy Body
It’s very challenging to taste a nuanced Pinot Noir after sipping a big, bad Cabernet. Likewise, a Pinot Gris after a Chardonnay will get lost.
Dry Before Sweet
When you start with sweet wines, the drier wines taste too acidic. So you’ll have your Riesling before your Sauvignon Blanc. But because of the light body vs. heavy body rule, you’ll have your Chardonnay as your last white.
Young Before Old
Because old wines tend to have much more complexity, you want to end with these.
End with Fortified
Fortified wines have high alcohol contents, and can burn out your sense of smell and your palate.
FirstPourWine.com recommends the following order for some of the most common varietals. For blends, they recommend using the largest grape by percentage to determine where the wine should line up.
- Dry Riesling
- Pinot Grigio
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Chenin Blanc
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sweet Whites
- Sweet Reds
- Non-fortified Dessert Wines
- Fortified Wines
Cheers to enjoying many WINEderful tastings!
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