Wine tasting in Napa Valley
Do not let wine tasting etiquette be a barrier to fun. Napa Valley is home to the most elegant Chardonnay, and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon, that the world has to offer. Not to mention all the other wines that are representative of this region. Here we will answer a few of the most common questions and offer tips to help you feel comfortable in the wine tasting room.
Start with the glass
In spite of what you see on TV or in the movies, hold your wine glass by the stem, and not the bowl. Regardless of type, wines are served at very specific temperature. For example, a Chardonnay will be served at 50°, and a Cabernet Sauvignon will be served at 65°. Holding your glass by the bowl rather than the stem can radically alter the temperature of the wine.
A commonly asked question is, “Why do people swirl their wine as they drink it?” Contrary to misguided opinion, wine drinkers do not swirl because they are feeling a little self-conscious or pretentious. It is important that you must swirl dry wines to draw oxygen into the wine. It also gets the wine to touch the sides of the glass, creating the vapors that you sniff to prepare your palate.
Remember basic science class experiments. If you plugged your nose, you could not taste what you could not smell. In order to accentuate the taste of wine, swirl it, then sniff it. Smelling the wine prepares your brain, and your palate to fully absorb the taste of the wine.
Chew, swallow, or spit?
Our concern is not so much about etiquette as it is about your enjoying the wine. Once you take a sip, let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds to absorb the flavor. Some people actually “chew” the wine to enhance the flavor. Now, you have a decision to make. You can opt to swallow it, or spit the wine into the spittoon. It really depends upon your intent. If you plan to make stops at multiple wineries, or if you are driving, spitting the wine allows you to enjoy the wine without it literally going to your head. Swallowing the wine allows you to enjoy the total experience of drinking wine. You are not expected to drink the entire glass, and it is perfectly acceptable to pour out the remainder of the glass.
Ghost Horse Vineyard in St. Helens, Ca
Wine tasting in Napa Valley is not complete without a visit to the Ghost Horse Vineyard, located in the Southeastern part of the Napa Valley, in St. Helena, CA up against the Vaca Mountain Range, home of some of the finest grapes in the world. The vineyard was planted in 1997 and has been owned by Todd Anderson, Celebrity winemaker of Ghost Horse wines at Ghost Horse World. Ghost Horse World is one of Napa Valley’s leading estates, and has become infamous the world over for the price and scarcity of its wines.
The vineyard produces 4 separate and distinct Cabernets. Each of the wines are 100% Cabernet. Part of what makes them distinct one from the other is that their fruit comes from a different part of the vineyard and each are produced by its own unique wine making techniques. Ghost Horse Wines, located in Ghost Horse World. Todd Anderson is one of Napa’s oldest Winemakers. He and his family have been making wine since 1983. The wines are highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, bearing an incredible intensity of sweet fruit and exceptional length. The wines are absolutely an Occult Wine Experience! Contact Amy Ash, their general manager, to schedule a private tour of the winery or for a dinner in your area.