Recently my colleagues and I received a pleasant email in our inbox which said “who wants to go along for a class in wine-tasting?” However, with this invitation came the burden of leaving work 30 minutes earlier and having to walk across the work office just to accept the invitation. So as this was a tough decision, I decided to make the sacrifice and jumped at the opportunity as did many other work mates.
So the following day, seven of us found ourselves listening to Gael le Bec explaining exactly what the day would entail. Beside him was a table containing three bottles of wine, which each bottle i’m sure, would have been more than want I would spend on wine in a whole month.
After the introduction, we were given a short explanation about the different scents and smells you can encounter at a wine tasting workshop. There is, amongst other things, a difference between dark and light fruit, as well as between young and ripe fruit. Ripe fruits for example, give a deeper and stronger taste and a deeper colour to the wine.
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I didn’t find the lessons easy to follow because unfortunately my Spanish has not improved a great deal since my arrival in Barcelona. However, Gael was kind enough to repeat things several times which allowed my colleagues to translate the things I didn’t understand.
The tasting itself was, of course, the best part of the afternoon for me, especially because we all started perspiring a bit. First the wine was poured into glasses and we were told not to hold the glass by the cup but by the handle (common mistake number 1), and this was because we were going to check the wine’s colour and fingerprints on the glass makes this more difficult. After some giggling, we all concluded that we couldn’t to see the colour difference when holding the glass at an angle but we found that a piece of paper underneath the glass solved this problem.
Of course continuing to enjoy ourselves thoroughly, things suddenly became even funnier when it was time to start the tasting. It is well known that our sense of smell has a big influence on what we taste. So when you want to taste wine, you have to take a small sip, breath in, breath out, close your mouth and breathe out through your nose. In doing this, the tastes become more recognisable and as such, easier to work out what fruits were inside. However, it was breathing impossible to keep a straight face amongst our friends with wine in our mouths because one of us would break out into laughter, as did Gael when he saw this. I plan and simply couldn’t do this as I would choke everytime I tried.
Nevertheless, after two delicious white wines and a magnificent red wine the class was over. It was a very interesting and fun experience and of course I tried to apply what I had learnt with my cheap wine back home. With the breathing in and breathing out method, I definitely could tell that vinegar the main ingredient.