Wine can be much more than just a beverage, it can be an experience. Sipping on sumptuous wine is a way for people to bond. Rather than visiting expensive wineries, consider having a wine tasting soiree at your home. If you are interested in learning more about wine simply for your own education, you can simply sample wines in your own home and develop your palette. To truly appreciate the aromas and flavors of the wines you should make it a point to cleanse the palette properly between tastes.
If you don’t cleanse your palette you will have remnants of the previous wine when you go to taste the next wine. That taints the flavor and you won’t be able to accurately taste the notes and flavors in the wine. When you taste a wide variety of wine your palette can become fatigued and overwhelmed, especially if you are new to drinking wine. Cleanse your palette correctly and you will discover tastes and flavors that you never imaged.
High quality white bread is the very best food for cleansing the palette when wine tasting. Plain white bread or French bread are both ideal. Don’t put anything on it, including butter or jam. Plain crackers are acceptable as well. The reason that bread works so well is that it has an extremely neutral flavor. Professionals in the field always use plain bread and wash it down with water to cleanse their palettes. It should be a small amount of bread or crackers. After eating the piece of bread, wash it down with plain, unflavored water, and continue on to the next wine. Avoid drinking carbonated or spring water.
While it may be ideal to stick to bread and water, there are other foods that can help cleanse the palette. Wine does taste differently when you eat or drink flavored food or drinks. Some people serve fruit along with the wine as it can have palette cleansing properties. Small amounts of cheese can help cleanse the palette as well, especially if you are experiencing palette fatigue. It’s certainly fine to eat standard party fare, but avoid doing so while testing the wines.
If you taste wine in the proper order you can help minimize palette fatigue. If you are tasting both red and white wine always start with white wine. Begin with sweet and dry white wines and then move on to the dessert wines. Afterwards, move on to the red wines, starting with light red wine and then heavier red wines. While you don’t have to adhere to this protocol, it tends to be best for evaluating the intricate notes and heady flavors of the wine. It’s best to start with white wine simply because it tends to be lighter than red wine.