The visual experience is the prelude to tasting, it is the first sip of wine given through the eyes. As such, the visual aspect inevitably arouses our expectations (and perhaps also prejudices) from the pouring of the wine into the glass.
The characteristics of this liquid that draws our attention, such as clearness and fluidity, but above all the color, can tell us much about the kind of wine we are going to taste.
Don't fill the glass
7 cl of wine (1/3 of a common glass), or even less, are enough to start a tasting. The right amount allows you to better appreciate the colors and intensity, as well as handle inclination and rotation of the glass without incident.
Tilt the glass
Tilt the 45 ° cup on a white background (a napkin or sheet of paper is fine) determines an area where the thickness of the wine is smaller, the so-called nail. Only here you can appreciate the intensity and the slightest shades of colors.
Rotate the glass
Let's remember that the wine does not need to be centrifuged. Rotating the glass slowly, allow it to evaluate its fluidity by observing the archetypes that form on the surface of the glass. As more they will be slim and slow, the wine will have an appreciable component of alcohol and glycerin.
Attention, rotation should not be made with sparkling wines: it does not lead to particular appreciation but above all increases the dissolution of carbon dioxide.
Analysis of the color
The color shade is the first feature that jumps on everyone's eye, considering it is also the one that gives the name to the various types of wine.
Together with intensity and vivacity, it provides many useful clues on grapes, winemaking and aging.
The intensity, closely related to the tonality, is determined by the quantity of color, that is, by the pigments dissolved in the wine. It depends on many parameters, such as the vine, the soil and the vinification method.
To measure it, just move the glass close to a white surface and evaluate how much light can pass through the wine.
Pay attention: intensity is not a qualitative parameter. A light wine can be just as good as an intense wine!
The vividness is a qualitative parameter closely related to the tonality and essentially provides information on the state of conservation of wine.
A listless wine, with little vivacity, is often the cause of oxidation or old age and therefore can not be a good product. On the contrary, a vivid wine is synonymous of good state of conservation.
Analysis of the other features
The clearness indicates the degree of transparency and depends, essentially, on the amount of solid particles in suspension within the liquid.
To measure it, just bring the glass to a white surface with dark elements (such as a page of a book) and evaluate how much we can read through the wine.
A little clear, or even veiled, wine is often an indication of alterations, although sometimes we encounter exceptions. It is up to us to understand, with the experience, whether a slight veil is a symptom of illness or, perhaps, it is the result of a long refining or an unfiltered product.
Fluidity indicates the likelihood of the liquid to flow along a surface and essentially depends on the amount of alcohol, sugars and glycerin dissolved in the wine.
To measure it, just rotate the glass slightly and evaluate through the drawings that will slowly appear: the bow and the tears.
A little fluid, almost viscous, wine is often indicative of alterations.
Perlage, that is, the presence of bubbles, is a characteristic feature of bubbly or sparkling wines. It is due to the presence of carbon dioxide that is transformed from a gaseous to a liquid state.
If we observe the size of the bubbles, a wine with a coarse perlage, comparable to the one of mineral water, indicates a poor quality wine. On the contrary, very small bubbles indicate that the winemaking process took place in the best possible way.
If we observe the persistence of bubbles, a wine with a short perlage, which fades in a few seconds, will certainly be unattractive. On the contrary, a prolonged perlage will be pleasing to both the sight and, subsequently, the taste.