Well, it is not as easy as it sounds, and not difficult either. With a bit of training you can bring out your inner connoisseur. Training is drinking, so it can be actually rather great fun. First of all, there is no wrong or right in tasting as it is very much subject to that particular person. A wine may be technically faulty and still can be enjoyed by some.
There are certain areas on your tongue that are more sensitive to specific flavours. It is slightly different in each individual, so you can explore your own by doing some experiment with sugar, salt solution, lemon juice, stewed tea. This will give you a pretty good idea what to look out for next time you taste some wine. You will find that bitter you can sense on the back of your tongue, sweetness on the tip, salt on the middle and acidity on the sides, and tannins on your gum.
The three most important components to contribute to the balance and style of wine are sugar, acidity and tannins. Identifying them can enable you to successfully match wine with food too. Bear in mind, that elements and factors can interfere with your perception, like high acidity can easily mask sweetness and over-chilling can mask fruitiness.
With couple of simple practical steps and conscious sipping you can understand better your vino.
Is it far too scientific an approach for you?
Photographs by The Tannin Addict.