The four main flavors of wine are sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. While this is the four flavors your tongue is really capable of tasting, the long lasting impression that wine leaves in your mouth is far more complex. When drinking or tasting wine, your taste buds and your sense of smell are involved, adding to the way you construe wine overall. The flavors, aromas, and sensations that wine is comprised of provide the interaction that you taste when you sample wine.
Sweetness is an element that wines are well known for. Usually with most types of wine, grapes are responsible for the sweet taste. Grapes do contain a lot of sugar, which helps breaks the yeast down into alcohol. The grapes and yeast that were used to make the wine will leave behind various sugars, which your tongue will be able to quickly distinguish. As soon as your tongue detects these various sugars, the stimulation of sweetness from the wine will be ever so present in your mouth.
Even though your tongue doesn’t really know how to decipher the taste of alcohol, it is always present in wines. The alcohol present in wine will dilate blood vessels and hence intensify all of the other flavors found in the wine. After you have sampled a few types of wine, the alcohol level can easily have an effect on your taste buds, making it much more difficult to distinguish other drinks that you may have.
Acidity in wines usually influences the sugar. When the acidity is balanced, the overall flavor of wine can be very overwhelming. After you drink wine that contains it, the flavor of the acidity will be well known to your tongue. Notwithstanding that acidity is great with wine, but too much of it will leave a very sharp taste. At the right levels, acidity will bring the flavors of the grape and fruits alive in your mouth – providing you with the perfect taste.
Another effect of flavor is tannins, which are the proteins present in the skins of grapes and other fruits. A wine that has the right amount of tannins will give your tongue a great feel, and bring in the sensations of the other flavors. During wine aging process, the tannins will begin to breakdown in the bottle, giving you a softer feel to the taste. Tannins are definitely essential for the taste of wine – providing the wine has been properly aged.
Oak is the last flavor associated with wine. Even though oak isn’t put into the wine during the creation process, it is actually transferred during the aging process, as most wines will spend quite a bit of time in oak barrels. Depending on how long the wine is left in the oak barrel, the ability to extract the flavor will vary. Quite often, wine will be aged just enough to where the oak taste is visibly there – and adds the perfect sentiment to the taste.
There are many other factors involved to determine the flavors of wine, the most prominent ones are those listed above. The above flavors are the most present in wine, and also the flavors that you need to get more proficient with. Before trying to taste wine or distinguish flavors, you should always learn as much you can about the ingredients accountable for the flavors. When you follow these simple rules you will know more about what wine you taste, because you will be in a better position to appreciate wine.