Why spit at wine tastings?

Spitting is disgusting. I seriously cringe when I see someone spit. But when it comes to wine tasting, well I spit!

Recently my lovely twitter friend @ChannyBH was asking me where she can learn more about wine. I mentioned a few local courses but it got me thinking that I should start a series of educational blog posts.

I use to work in the wine industry, my company at the time put me through a great deal of wine education training and I want to share this knowledge with you!

One of the questions I always get asked is “do you do that spitting thing when you taste wine?” The answer is yes I do, that is if I want to be able to fairly review the wine and remember what I’ve tasted! You can fully taste a wine by simply swirling it round your mouth a couple of times and spitting it out.

A tasting sample may only look like a drop or two in a wine glass but they do add up! You’ll soon be well on your way to wine-goggles land before you know it.

I’m not against getting my wino tipsy on, but the key is priorities. When I’m tasting to learn about the wine, I spit. Once I’ve analysed each with a clear head and palate I’ll then go back and start swallowing. Taste hard, play hard 🙂

So basically If you are tasting a series of wines and really want to taste and understand the different flavours of each, then you have to spit. If you don’t your taste buds will basically go from being able to ballroom dance to a version of Miley Cryus’s twerking. You’ll tire them out and numb them to stupidity so that every wine “is the best wine ever”.

The saying is true when it comes to wine tasting – practice makes perfect! So if you want to learn more about wine, spitting is the key. The more different wines and grape varieties you can taste the more you’ll start to understand the differences between grape varieties, regions and vintages. And the more you’ll understand the commonalities of each grape variety.

The art of spitting has never been my fortay and I am still working on my ‘sophisticated spit’. Definitely start out with whites as the splash back from reds is never pretty. The trick is to spit with enough force that it doesn’t dribble down your chin but not so much force that it comes back at you or splash the person next to you.

All wineries or organised tastings will have spit-buckets or spittoons as the trade call them. If you can’t spot one, just ask. And no it’s not acceptable to ask to take the full spittoon home with you, ick!

Plus spitting means you can participate without the daunting thought of being pulled over by the po-po (police) on the way home! Responsible drinking, holla!!

If there is anything you would love to read further about when it comes to wine education, please leave a comment or if you have any further questions on spitting wine, ask away 🙂

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