Human beings have five senses and a sixth one more spiritual and controversial, which consists of our intuition. Which do we use to taste wine? All of them. I invite you to experience the wine with all our senses.
- The vision
We can see the color of the wine, its brightness and transparency. We can compare the color of a young wine with one of an old vintage – that develops other tones. Seeing wine also means assessing the beauty of its different nuances. You can choose your favorite color. For example, carmine red, and use it, like me, to accentuate certain corners of your home.
I like to play with wines, especially with my dearest ones such as Marques de Casa Concha Pinot Noir from the Extraordinary 2018 Vintage. With a glass of my favorite wine in my hand, of course, I try to emulate the color of the wine on the paper with watercolor tinctures. This task is very relaxing and makes me feel more connected to the visual aspect of wine.
Also whenever I can, I visit the vineyard to see it with my own eyes.. It is something magical, sometimes unforgettable. When it comes to an exceptional harvest, such as 2018 in Viña Concha y Toro, we can understand why wine is so precise and beautiful. Visit the vineyards, look at the berries and leaves, fill your eyes with their amazing tones.
- The audition
Yes, we can hear the wine! When we uncork a bottle, when we decant the wine or when we pour the wine into the glass. Try to serve three glasses with different levels of wine and, when they sound with a touch metallic object, I assure you that they hear very different. You can really make music with wine.
But, above all, we can hear the vines, especially the magical murmur of the leaves with the wind. I recommend you one day visit a vineyard and taste the wine sitting among the vines, connecting with nature. It is a transcendental sensation.
- The Smell
With our nose, we can sniff the wine. That is one of my favorite stages of tasting. Every time we talk about the different strains, we describe an exclusive aromatic profile.
This sense allows us to differentiate the aromas. I always invite you to collect the aromas, both in jars and in your memory. You can keep notes of each of them in the jars, using flower petals, essential oils, herbs and spices, fruit peels and organic materials such as leaves, earth, leather, etc.
Think, for example, of red and black fruits, strawberry, cherries and figs and see how these aromas are expressed in wines. In Casillero del Diablo Malbec 2018 you will find juiciness of black cherry, violet and fig, while in Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir 2018 aromas of white rose, raspberry and violet.
This sense is ideal for the wines of the Extraordinary 2018 Vintage given the aromatic explosion that they present due to the excellent conditions that occurred.
To take care of our nose it is important to keep it clean and healthy, as this helps to have a good breath and, in turn, to perceive odors better.
- The taste
The tongue is associated with the sense of taste, where the taste buds responsible for the flavors are found: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Perhaps it is the most important of the senses.
Photograph from the Extraordinary 2018 Vintage event at The Rooftop at Le Meridian Hotel
The tongue is the main organ of the sense of taste. To take care of it, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. In ancient Indian medicine Ayurveda one of the steps of the morning routine is to scrape the tongue. This treatment eliminates toxins, bacteria and dead cells from the tongue to prevent bad breath; it promotes oral and digestive health and, above all, improves the sense of taste, so important for all wine lovers.
- The touch
The skin is our largest organ. We all have a tactile sensitivity that allows us to perceive, feel, touch and know the texture (soft or rough), the hardness (soft or hard) and the temperature (cold or hot) of things.
The skin is a thin layer that covers and protects our body. How to touch the wine? Literally, dipping a finger or the palm of your hand with wine. We can also leave the wine footprint in a notebook. There are no recipes. The imagination is the limit. There are artists who wet brushes with various red wines and create beautiful reddish-colored paintings.
If you can visit a vineyard in the autumn months, when the grapes are ripe, crush the berries with your fingers, see their tones, touch the pulp, experience their juiciness.
- The Intuition
Yes, true, the taste makes us choose some wines over others, but the perception of wine is also something instinctive, which cannot be explained in words. This spiritual aspect of wine, divine, for some, makes wine so particular, unbeatable, infinite.