If these weekly columns have inspired you to organise your own wine tasting at home, then you’ll need to get some kit together. Buy yourself some large wine glasses (cheap supermarket ones will do) for capturing any wine aromas released when the wine is swirled prior to sniffing and tasting. And to help you keep track of all the wines you taste why not use my free wine tasting sheet available from http://paulagoddard.com/images/stories/wines/paula goddard wine tasting sheet.pdf
There’s space to record the wine colour (red, white or rosé) as well as where you bought it and for how much. It’s also useful to keep a note of what the bottle label says so that if you like the wine you’ll have a good chance of finding exactly the same, or a similar type, again.
The tasting sheet also has space to record the grape varieties used in the wine – these will be displayed on the label, unless it’s French, when these will be hidden from you, because you shouldn’t need to ask should you? A white Burgundy will be made from Chardonnay grapes, a red Burgundy from Pinot Noir, and Bordeaux reds (or as we English like to call them, Clarets), will be a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Once you’ve written all that down you’ll finally pour the wine. Give it a sniff so you can make a note of its aroma and then sip and taste. There are no right or wrong words for the aroma and taste – write down whatever you think the wine smells and tastes of even if that’s home-made custard or Persil washing up liquid.
Not sure what wines to get for the tasting? Then try these aroma-friendly and slurpable bargains.
PG Wine Reviews
Aldi Pardon My French Gasgogne White
A versatile white with sweet-sour flavours going on that make it match the Germanic tang requirement for the occasional drinker. Flavours of lemon, honey, almond and pear.
SPAR Crisp White, South African
It does what it says on the label, being ‘refreshing and dry’ (but not so dry it takes the enamel off) with flavours of apple, pear and melon and a bit of bubblegum. Match to fish and chips.
Carlino Rosso, Italy
A red wine that matches anything with flavours of blackberry, coffee, toffee and cocoa.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Cotes du Rhone-Villages 2014
Flavours of black and sweet cherry with damson and marzipan – a mixture of Black Forest gateaux and fruit cake.
Vinalba Argentinean Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013
A nice mix of fruity flavours: cherry, blackberry and almond liqueur chocolates.
The Big Mo’ Australian Viognier 2016
£9.99 Virgin Wines
Smooth and fruity with flavours of apple, orange, pear and lemon – a real fruit bowl.