A wine tasting takes place according to a precise ritual, which allows you to discover all the subtleties of a wine. After the visual examination (color of the wine) and the olfactory examination (nose of the wine), then comes the stage of the gustatory examination (mouth of the wine). The taste of the white wine then reveals a lot of information depending on the type of wine. Let's find out how the tasting stage takes place which reveals the taste of the white wine .
What is the taste of a white wine?
The mouth of a wine represents the taste sensations that we feel in the mouth when tasting the wine, and which reveal its characteristics. The sensations on the tongue and in the mouth are then almost always revealed in the same order: sweet taste, acidity, then bitterness.
To be able to accurately evaluate these characteristics, it is then necessary to swirl the wine in the mouth , so that all the taste buds on the tongue are awakened:
- The tip of the tongue feels the sweet taste;
- The front sides of the tongue feel the salty taste;
- The posterior sides of the tongue feel the acidity;
- The back of the tongue feels bitter.
Thanks to retro-olfaction, appealing to the olfactory sense, the taster also perceives each aroma of white wine, red wine or rosé wine. But tasting is also a tactile perception , which allows you to feel the power of the tannins. They can then be raspy, astringent, or rough, for example.
Finally, the taste analysis also allows you to get an idea of the temperature of the wine, its alcohol content, its consistency and its taste.
Evaluating the palate of a white wine
Unlike red wines, white wines do not contain tannins. It is for this reason that we will mainly evaluate the balance between the residual sugar level and the acidity .
To do this, you must then take a small quantity of white wine in the mouth, inhale a little air, and keep it in the mouth for at least 10 seconds before spitting it out. This is the best tasting technique to fully feel the attack, mid-palate and aftertaste of white wine, and determine the characteristics of the wine.
Estimate the age of the bottle of white wine
By bringing your glass of white wine to your mouth, you will be able to get a more precise idea of the evolution of the wine . Thus, young white wines have a pretty pale color with green reflections, and on the palate, they reveal aromas of white and yellow fruits, white flowers and citrus fruits. These flavors vary, of course, from one grape variety to another. A Sauvignon stands out with its citrus aromas, while a Riesling will have an apple taste, for example.
Medium-aged white wines reveal the same aromas, but in a more intense and expressive way. Some evolve towards candied fruit flavors, while others reveal notes of iodine or flint.
Finally, older wines are sweet wines , with a high sugar or alcohol content, where we find aromas of dried fruits and honey.
Dry white wine or sweet wine?
The main criterion that differentiates one white wine from another is its sugar content. This is actually the first question a sommelier will ask you at a restaurant: do you like sweet wines or dry wines? You will have understood, a sweet wine is a sweet wine , while a more acidic wine is a dry wine .
Be careful, however, not to confuse the sugar content and the fruity aromas. Indeed, it is entirely possible to have a very fruity dry wine, with good acidity and low sweetness.
Our selection of white wines from Provence
Nothing better to learn to distinguish all the subtleties of a wine's taste than to practice by tasting various bottles of white wine . Here is our selection of white wines to try your hand at the exercise while enjoying yourself.
- White 2020 AOP Côtes de Provence - Grande Récolte : this white wine from Château de Berne made from white grape varieties (sémillon, rolle and ugni blanc), is an authentic wine where we find all the expression of the Provence terroir. Its notes of fresh fruit make it a great ally to accompany gilthead sea bream or Bresse poultry;
- White 2019 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château des Bertrands : this organic white wine made from Ugni Blanc and Rolle is a Provençal wine with aromas of exotic fruits, almond and pear. The sun of Provence makes this wine an asset to enhance a fish dish;
- White 2021 AOP Côtes de Provence - Ultimate Provence : this white wine with a pretty, unique bottle is a 100% Rolle which reveals the aromatic palette of sun-drenched grapes. Citrus and peppery notes work wonders as an aperitif, or as an accompaniment to seafood.
Wine tasting is a complex exercise, which requires memory and requires a lot of training. The taste of a white wine can then reveal the greatest secrets of a wine to you, and give you valuable information for tasting in the best conditions.