The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2013

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PHOTO: VIKTOR BUDNIK WINEOCOLOGY A PRO EXPLAINS THAT COLOR IS A MAJOR COMPONENT OF WINE APPRECIATION Seeing Red by Caitlin Stansbury, author of Wineocology PHOTO: VIKTOR BUDNIK ���It���s red.��� I���ve heard this answer thousands of times when I���ve asked folks to describe the color of the wine they���re drinking. The truth is, they���re not wrong. Of course, they���re not entirely right either. If you���re like most people on the planet, you blow right by one of the richest realms of the wine-drinking experience in your race to get wine in your mouth. That���s why the ���Simple Sommelier System��� in my book, Wineocology, starts with sight. Your eyes yield both intense pleasure and a surprising amount of advanced insights into a wine���s origin, grape variety and viniication methods. Your eyes are avid drinkers too, and what they drink is light. Light, when refracted, becomes the visible spectrum of colors. Wine is color in a glass. When it comes to wine, ���red��� can mean anything from a dense purple, so dark it almost reads black, to a pale rose, so delicate it almost looks pink. In between is an ininite array of garnets, magentas, rubies, bluish purples and a rusty range of tones dipping into the realms of brown and orange. As many beautiful variations as there are from wine to wine, there are also extraordinary differences to be checked out within a single glass. As wine thins out toward the edge or rim, light bends through it differently, revealing a subtle set of gradations not visible in the dense center. Identifying the wine���s color, along with other visual markers such as intensity, opacity and viscosity, indicates what kind of wine you���re drinking, and most usefully, how to pair and share it appropriately. Try this: Hold a wine glass at a 45-degree angle to a white backdrop and really try to describe Author Caitlin Stansbury immerses the speciics of its complex color proile. Is it dark purple at the center with a bright magenta herself in her work. rim? Is the color so thick that you can���t see your ingers through the glass? Push yourself to perceive the nuances of these visual hallmarks and you will be rewarded with the irst clue that this fuchsia-edged beauty is likely a pigmented tannin rich Malbec, begging for a liaison with a char-grilled rib eye. The Wineocology way is a strengthening system for your senses���a workout for your sight, as well as your smell, taste and touch. And the opportunities for exercising your newly beefed-up sensory muscles are all around you. The deeper connection with wine the System creates builds both product passion and staff conidence, which means happier patrons and higher proits! In next month���s issue, I���ll sniff around the next step of the ���Simple Sommelier System,��� and show you how much your nose really knows. For more information, visit 52 / the tasting panel / march 2013

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