Sunday Read: Five Key Components in Wine and How to detect them

I think I am in the process of creating a new regular feature: the Sunday read. I like to sit back on Sunday mornings with a cup of homemade milk coffee (beans ground in my peugeot hand grinder, coffee made in my stove top espresso maker that I have had for ages), read a magazine or browse online. I like when I find pieces that are interesting but not overwhelming, broadening my horizon.

The folks over at Snooth ran a piece by Nancy Hawks Miller (owner of the blog The Tasting Group) a couple of days ago that played well on what I posted last Sunday: how hard it can be to discern smells in wine. This piece goes a bit further, explaining key components and how to find them in your nose and on your palate. She names acid, tannin, alcohol, sugar and body. That makes initial sense to me. The way she describes these and how we can detect how they work was illuminating to me, so I thought I’d share.

One sentence rung especially true: Fruit in a wine can be mistaken for sweetness, even though there is hardly any sugar in there. It is just our brain making that unconscious connection.

Happy Sunday reading. Hope you all are having a good day.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Read: Five Key Components in Wine and How to detect them

  1. Interesting article – thanks for sharing. Say, my husband and I are going to be in MI in a couple of weeks, near Jackson, Lansing and Kalamazoo. We have a gift cert to Sandhill Crane, so we are going to check them out, but do you have recommendations on other wineries in those areas that are good? Thanks!

    • Hey, wow! I’m sorry I can’t really help you with that area and wine. The only Michigan wines I tried are from Traverse City and that area in the North. I looked at a lot of the winery websites closer to Ann Arbor, but was not really attracted by any of them…

      There is a rather nice wine bar in Ann Arbor that my wife has been to and liked it (Vinology). If you make it into Ann Arbor, we could share a drink there…just let me know about your plans.

  2. It IS a good article.

    Ah, Sunday mornings, with coffee. (Not many people have European hand-grinders, but my —– in Ann Arbor does. Now I have to ask which brand. Probably peugot).

    Have you ever heard the CD Sunday Morning Coffee? It’s absolutely perfect for the Sunday Morning Coffee experience, music to browse by. Someone gave it to me as a gift in the 1990’s and I wore it out. You’ve reminded me that I have to get another copy.

  3. wineismylife says:

    This is called a Component Tasting. Merryvale winery in Napa Valley California is the first place I ever participated in one. You fill up four small glasses with each component. You taste the component then taste a wine that highlights that component. You then make your own blend of each component and see how they all work best in harmony. You finish up with 3-4 balanced wines and it is amazing how much easier it is to identify each component within a wine.

  4. thefoodandwinehedonist says:

    This is a GREAT article. These were first lessons I took at Sommeelier school! All 100% accurate

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