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Learning to Taste Wine

How to taste and appreciate wine is more uncomplicated then most people realize. With a little bit of knowledge your admiration for both wines and winemakers will deepen. Certified wine tasters go through a procedure of looking, sniffing, slurping and spitting. Each action is designed to extract the maximum amount of information about the wine. Lucky for the rest of us, the procedure is looking, sniffing, slurping and drinking the wine for maximum amount of enjoyment. Here are the basics:

Hold up your Glass of Wine
The color can tell you a lot about the wine so tilt your glass away from you and look carefully at the color of the liquid. Darker colors tend to come from warmer climates so you can expect something rich and ripe. Lighter colors often mean cooler climates and something less luxuriant. With age, red wines tend to lose color; white wines conversely gain color. A mature red wine will be more translucent and fade at the rim while younger red wines will be dark and intense right to the edge of the glass. Other things to look for are: Is it clear or cloudy? Does it contain sediment, cork or other solid material?

Take a Sniff
First of all give your glass of wine a gentle swirl to encourage the liquid to release all its natural aromas. This is so, when you stick your nose in the glass, the bouquet can be fully appreciated. Get your nose slightly in the glass and take a big sniff. Maybe two or three. The nosing of a wine can reveal a lot about the wine's origin and the way it was made. Does it smell like fruit? Which fruit? A red wine might smell of strawberries or ripe plums. A white wine might smell of peaches or vanilla. Do you smell oak, berries, citrus or flowers? Your sense of smell can be far more informative than your sense of taste.

Finally, take a mouthful
Roll the wine around your mouth as thoroughly as you can for a moment or two. Your sense of taste detects four primary flavors: fruit, alcohol, acidity, and sweetness.  Ideally these flavors will be well-balanced with one not be more prominent than the others. All wine tastes of fruit. Alcohol is produced by the action of yeasts on grape sugars, and helps to give wine its weight and body. Acidity makes wines refreshing. Sweet wines are sweet because they contain unfermented sugar from the grape juice.

Learning to taste wine simply means adding new flavors to the ones you already know from other drinks and foods you have already tasted. Noticing, and remembering flavors and smells is a big part of learning to taste wine. The easiest way of learning is comparing the tastes and smells of wine to tastes and smells you already know.


 Featured Wine Tastings Rooms 
 Sort By:  Distance from Elkin | Time | Title | Ratings | Total Visit | Newest
 Brushy Mountain Winery 
Visit Brushy Mountain Winery
125 West Main Street Elkin NC 28621 Tel: 336-835-1313
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  -  Historic Downtown Elkin, NC
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Brushy Mountain Winery is dedicated to the continuing pursuit of excellence, a part of the original concept for the winery. This is achieved through Mr. Sean McRitchie, our winemaker with 30 years experience, and through the purchase of only the highest quality fruit in the Yadkin Valley. Join Brushy Mountain Winery's new wine club! Our wine club members receive discounts on wine purchases, free wine tastings, first chance on limited-production wines, VIP invitations to exclusive members-only events and much more!

Brushy Mountain Winery - Elkin  , NC

Total Visit - 1436
http://www.brushymountainwine.com   Last Updated on 3/5/2010

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 Slightly Askew Winery 
Visit Slightly Askew Winery
913 North Bridge Street  Elkin NC 28621
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  -  0:02 minutes from historic downtown Elkin, NC
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Not your typical Winery, a slightly different Yadkin Valley Winery, offering wine produced from local juices, as well as, juices from some of the best wine regions around the world. We offer a large selection of fruit wines for the sweet wine lovers along with Dry and Semi-dry Reds and Whites for the dry wine lovers. A unique twist on Slightly Askew if you taste a wine you really like, you can purchase a bottle or you can purchase all of the accessories necessary to produce that wine (or similar) in your own home.

Slightly Askew Winery - Elkin, NC

Total Visit - 1036
http://www.slightlyaskewwines.com   Last Updated on 5/6/2014

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 Wine Tastings Rooms 
 
 Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery 
235 Chatham Cottage Circle State Road NC 336-835-2458
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Travel 8.02 miles  -  0:15 minutes from downtown Elkin, North Carolina
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Slightly Askew Winery - Elkin, NC

Harvested from the Grassy Creek Vineyard and from our sister site - Holloway Vineyard in Troutman, North Carolina - the grapes of Grassy Creek receive the attention and care necessary to insure that the wine maker has the very best North Carolina has to offer. And all of our wines are estate bottled at our White Barn Winery. With plantings in cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz, sangiovese, grenache, chardonnay, pinot grigio, viognier, and sauvignon blanc, we offer a wide range of tasting alternatives. Our Grassy Creek wines are the more full-bodied, rich, and robust wines in our offering. Our Klondike Farm wines are the sweeter, lighter, fruitier wines we offer.

Total Visit - 1447
http://www.grassycreekvineyard.com   Last Updated on 10/4/2008

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 McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks 
315 Thurmond Road Thurmond NC 28683 Tel: 336-874-3003
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Travel 8.99 miles  -  0:16 minutes from downtown Elkin, North Carolina
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Slightly Askew Winery - Elkin, NC

Our goal is to create balanced, elegant wines that are expressive of their origin (terroir) and reflect true varietal character. Like our vineyards, our kitchen garden is tended using natural, sustainable growing methods. We grow heirloom herbs and vegetables that are used for our winemaker dinners and other tasting events throughout the year.

Total Visit - 1350
http://www.mcritchiewine.com   Last Updated on 10/4/2008

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 Shelton Vineyards Tastings 
286 Cabernet Lane Dobson NC 27017 Tel: 336-366-4724
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Travel 16.31 miles  -  0:23 minutes from downtown Elkin, North Carolina
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Slightly Askew Winery - Elkin, NC

Tours and tastings are offered daily. The winery is open every day of the year except Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The tour and tasting includes a guided tour of the 33,000 square-foot winery with an overview of the winemaking process, a tasting of five wines, and a souvenir glass. A Reserve Tasting and Tour is being offered. Sample the Family Reserve wines along with other limited releases. Your tour will include highlights of the winemaking operation.

Total Visit - 1387
http://www.sheltonvineyards.com   Last Updated on 10/4/2008

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