Wine Tasting Guide



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Essential Wine Tasting Guide

Put a wine mentor
in your pocket
You've been bitten by the wine bug and you're starting to get interested. You've learned to take a moment to stop, look, swirl and sniff before you enjoy what's in your glass, believing that this slow-down-to-smell-the-roses approach enhances your enjoyment of wine, not to mention food and other good things.

But the sheer complexity of it worries you just a bit: How can you ever learn all those tasting words and master the basics sufficiently to make wine appreciation easy?

If this dilemma sounds all too familiar to you, I invite you to take a look at Glen Green's trademarked new Essential Wine Tasting Guide.

Glen, a wine lover and professional wine maker in Australia and France, has created a remarkable little quick-reference guide to serious wine tasting in a slick, portable format that literally slips into your shirt pocket, wallet or purse.

A sample page

About the Wine Tasting Guide
Slip it out, open it up, and it unfolds to reveal 34 mini-pages of compact wine-tasting information including more than 1,000 specific descriptions to help guide you in the analytical tasting of wine.

It includes separate categories with specific tasting "descriptors" to help you focus on your aroma and flavor notes for 30 different types of red, white, sparkling, dessert and fortified wines.

It also offers information on the major grape varieties, provides a scorecard for rating wine (under the Australian wine-show system), detecting specific faults in wines, and a temperature serving guide. Finally, a vivid wine color guide (shown above right) offers an objective way to evaluate the apparance of the wine in your glass.

Just 3 1/2 by 2 1/4 inches, it's about the size of a business card, and it comes with a clear plastic holder to keep it like new.

Celsius to Fahrenheit

Glen's Down Under accent
G'day, mate! Glen is a proud New Zealander who lives in Australia, and his accent shows through in a few idiosyncrancies, but we don't think you'll find them difficult to get used to. "Colour" for "color" isn't hard for U.S. readers, and our neighbors, er, neighbours in Canada and the UK are already used to that.

Most significantly for U.S. readers, perhaps, the Essential Wine Tasting Guide's recommended wine-serving temperature chart is shown in degrees Celsius on the Guide. We've built you a Fahrenheit version for reference (at left), and we'll also stick a conversion chart in with the Guide when we send out your copy.

Here are a few other translations that might come in helpful for U.S. readers:

  • Vegemite, as a flavor descriptor for white sparkling wines, evokes the Australian "breakfast of champions," a yeasty, earthy spread for morning toast. For more info, click here.
  • Capsicum is what most folks in the U.S. and Canada call "bell pepper."
  • Durif is the French name for the grape variety sold in California as Petite Sirah.
  • Rutherglen Tokay and Rutherglen Muscat are rare and wonderful dessert wines from Victoria, Australia, north of Melbourne. The flavor descriptors will also work for such European treats as Sauternes and Tokaji.
  • Beetroot in Australian is just plain "beet" in the U.S.
  • Lantana is a tropical flower also known as viburnum.
That's it! With these half-dozen words, you're speaking Strine (Australian). Everything else in the Guide should pose you no mystery as Glen Green walks you through the wine-tasting process. (As for our friends from the rest of the world, even if you don't speak English as your first language, you may find the Guide a useful way to build your English wine-tasting vocabulary.)