PHILLY PA LOVES GOOD WINE
By Stu Leventhal – Philadelphia’s Restaurant Consultant
Attending wine tasting events in the City of Brotherly Love can be a great enjoyable and educational experience and a lot of fun! Although it is obvious that a lot of Philly people choose not to attend the many wine tasting events hosted throughout the Philly area out of fear or feeling silly about not knowing what to do or what to expect. Yes I am aware that Philly is a beer drinking Town! But there is a fast growing new appreciation for wine here in Philadelphia; both locally produced wines from the many Pennsylvania and Jersey vineyards as well as a growing international wine interest.
There is a nifty small comfortable drinking place called the Jet Wine Bar that is located at 1525 South St Philadelphia, PA USA. The Jet has a fine wine selection that is affordable for beginners to dabble and sophisticated enough for experienced wine lovers to enjoy too and the ambiance is great!
If you are a Philly resident looking to enhance your culinary horizons and widen your drinking experiences you should know wine is not as big of a mystery as many make it out to be. Here are some basic wine tasting tips that you should be aware of to help you navigate your first wine tasting event so you can enjoy the tasty experience to the fullest.
Follow these suggestions and you will look like a real wine tasting pro!
During a wine tasting event in Philadelphia, women are always served before the men. Some tastings will serve you bottled water between tastings, so you can clean your mouth out and be ready to taste the next wine that is served. When you take the glass of wine, you should always handle the glass by the stem, to avoid heating it with your hands. Yes at Philly tastings there will always be crackers and other goodies on hand as well, to help you cleanse your mouth between wine tastings.
As you may already know, you can tell quite a bit about the wine by its color. When you attend a wine tasting in Philadelphia for the first time, you’ll notice that the glasses are always clear. This helps you to examine the wine better. There should also be white tablecloths on the table as well, to help you see the color of the wine more clearly. You should never judge a wine by the name of the wine alone or the year, as these things being important are really just movie clichés! Each of us has our own tastes when wine is concerned. Going by the labels can easily fool even the best wine connoisseurs!
You’ll also notice the more experienced wine tasters swirl their wine around in the glass before they taste it. Although it may look weird, slightly swirling the wine actually helps to let the wine breath which brings out the flavor. Remember many expensive wines have been aging in bottles for long periods of time, sometimes even years. When the wine is swirled around in the glass, the swirling will release the aroma and circulate the flavors in the wine mixing them and energizing them for when the wine is tasted.
At Philly Pa Wine Tastings, you’ll be expected to look at the wine, smell it, then after swirling it around in the glass, taste it. But bear in mind that there is really no wrong method, each taster develops what works best for them. Smells play an integral part of the process, as you’ll get a lot more from the wine by smelling it first. Wine has quite an intriguing aroma, which helps to heighten your expectations while bring out the taste that good wine is so well known for.
Once you have smelled the wine, you should allow a few moments to take in the smell and think about the wine that you are smelling. In Philly, no one will rush you. Wine tasting is not a race it is a ritual of respect for the grape and the tradition and a celebration of the region where the vines grew and their soil and climate!
Last but not least, you are ready to begin the proper Philly Wine Tasting Method…
Your tongue has taste buds in the front and the back, which helps to detect flavors. Wine is full of conflicting flavors mingling so how you taste it will definitely make a difference! When you put the wine in your mouth, you should always swish it around some for a few seconds. Allow the flavors plenty of time to dance on your palate. Once your taste buds have started to discover the wine, think about what you taste! Now swallow the wine at a rate that is comfortable to you.
The wine’s aftertaste will remain in your mouth!
Contemplate what you taste. Is it bitter, sweet, strong, pungent, woody, lingering or fading away fast? What are the first words that come to your mind that describe the flavor?
Before you attend a wine tasting, you should always learn as much as you can about the many different flavors and varieties of wine that will be served. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what you should look for in both taste and flavor. Even though you may be new to wine tasting, you should never pass up an opportunity to go. You’ll get a great experience in the world of wine tasting and get to experience wines that you may have never heard of before or can access on your own.
For anyone with a desire to learn some more about wine I highly recommend the Wine School of Philadelphia located at 127 S. 22nd Street in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia PA USA! They host courses on all kinds of great wine genres. They also put on classes for beer brewing and wine and cheese pairing!
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