Here we are at the final step of our “Grow your own vineyard” special guide: the tasting.
Mixed emotions anticipate the first sip of your homemade wine.
Ensure, firstly, that you will be using the right glass: not water glasses or, worse, plastic cups. Now raise the glass and take a good look at your nectar. Let’s start with red wines: if they are purple in colour, vibrant, with violet hues, it means that the wine is still very young (like a Novello) and acidity and tannins prevail on softness. If it is an intense ruby red, it means that it is ready to be drunk and the above elements are perfectly balanced. For white wines, the colour should generally be pale yellow, which means that the wine has matured well after harvest and fermentation. If it has, however, green reflections, it might mean that it is still too young or you have harvested a few days earlier than expected. The overall golden rule is to ensure that the colour is neither too cloudy nor too hazy, this goes for both whites and reds, which may indicate a grape disease you should not spread to your stomach.
Let’s find out about the scent. Wine should not have hints that are too alcoholic or too acidic, which means that something went wrong during the fermentation process and the addition of yeast. For this reason, at this delicate stage, we recommend you contact a wine expert. If the wine is clean of these two serious defects, the scent of a wine can range from mineral (depends on the territory of origin) or woody (if stored in barrels), to fruity and winey, as in the younger, ready-to-drink wines. The complexity and intensity of a wine depends on the grapes, the soil, the vineyard and the cellar process, and its storage. What matters is to try and keep all these elements balanced. You will quickly learn to recognize all of these components to produce more complex and balanced wines.
Even when tasting, maintaining the balance is always the best choice. Too an astringent wine means that something went wrong in the process of contact between juice and skins; an almost tasteless wine, with little structure, will derive from damaged grapes or unsuitable soil, as well as errors in the processing stage. Too sweet a wine, instead, means it was fermented in properly controlled temperature tanks. What we need to look for is the perfect balance between softness and acidity, sugar content and tannins.