Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Fabio Viviani's Wine 101 | 0 comments

I hope you guys have been tasting and taking notes.  #TeamFabio should always be looking for ways to become better in the kitchen and more aware of what they are drinking in their wine.  I’m always here to help you guys!  When I’m tasting wine, it’s different then when I’m enjoying it with a meal.  Wine doesn’t need to be taken so seriously 24/7.  Moderation is the way to go, America!
If you spend all your time grooming a horse, you’ll never be able to get it dirty riding it.  I hope that makes sense, even if you aren’t a horse lover like myself.  At times, we need to taste, smell, and evaluate the flavors and aromas.  Other times, we need to focus on table conversation and having a glass twirling as our vehicle to a common act between each other.  So today, I want to give you 3 areas that you can evaluate when you are in the tasting mode – The Balance, The Web, and The Finale.  Sounds like the closing show to a circus act!
•    The Balance – Some of my best friends play guitar.  I have no idea what they are talking about, but they have told me that harmony, long story short, is when musical notes fit together naturally and become very pleasing to the ear.  Balance, in wine terms, is what harmony is in music.  It’s searching for two parts that help the overall components shine.  An example would be when a wine has lots of oak or wood notes, those can be balanced by having good amounts of ripe fruit flavor.  Maybe a dessert wine’s sweetness can be sung beautifully by adding notes of acidity found in tannins.  We want a song in our mouth, not just a chorus.
•    The Web – Think about a maze and its winding paths back and forth.  All mazes are not created equally, though.  Just because a maze might have twists and turns, doesn’t make it intricate.  The same is true with wine – When you find balance between flavors, the web of flavors could take you in another direction.  When a wine is intricate, you will notice a cascade of ever shifting tastes and aromas.  You don’t just taste fruit, but you also taste an array of berries, stone fruits, and flowers.  Wait another 10 minutes and pick up hints of soil, minerals and savory spices such as nutmeg or clove. What a wonderful trip your mouth is on right now!
•    The Finale – In keeping with our musical references, do you ever remember a song that still keeps the beat even after the song is finished?  It’s like you have been connected with it and for another 10 seconds, the song settles into your being and matches the rhythm of the very blood pumping from your heart.  Here’s the good news – it’s a wonderful sensation that we can adapt to wine!  Everyday wine, or table wine, usually has an aftertaste that isn’t memorable.  Not that it’s bad, but just doesn’t offer the palate anything to hold on to.  A good finish should last anywhere from 15-30 seconds.  Great endings can last up to a minute – Now that’s sexy, America!
Experienced tasters look for not only how long the ending is, but what is happening during that ending (finished harmony and continued intricacy).  Does the wine leave an alcoholic taste, an almost burning sensation?  How about a smooth and comforting feeling on the roof of your mouth and back of your tongue?  Perhaps the tannins are the finishers that give your mouth a pleasant pucker?  All of these traits can be used when describing the ending.
For a quick reference, it’s as simple as my chef mentors shared with me – “The better wines will leave you smiling, while the great ones will leave you breathless.”  If a wine has the ability to create balance, trace the web of tastes, and finish like a champion, then I would make sure you mark it as a keeper!  But always remember, not every wine will need to be great.  Sometimes you just need a good wine, for instance, when cooking.  Save the great wines for special moments and occasions.  Always find what you like and never mind what others think.  Let them mold the house, while you create the interior.  It’s silly to let others decide what you HAVE to taste or thinking you are wrong if you don’t get the same sensation.  Every mouth is unique and special, as are the wines that grace them! #Wine101