Round Top Campground

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Round Top Campground
180 Knight Road
Gettysburg PA, 17325

Reservation: 877-362-6736
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November 9, 2013
Wine Tasting 101: Sight and Smell

There are many activities you can choose from to keep yourself busy in Gettysburg.  One of the more popular activities for visitors is touring the many vineyards located in and around the area.  It goes without saying that wine is a complex subject.  Whether the idea of a vineyard fills your head with thoughts of high society, or just a good time, it’s important to know exactly how to taste the wine you’ll be enjoying.  

This article is Part 1 of a 2 part series covering wine tasting.  Today, we will examine what to look for within the sight and smell of a wine.  Hard to believe that an article with “Wine Tasting” in the title isn’t even going to cover the actual tasting part, isn’t it?  Hey, I told you it was complex.


Your first experience with the wines you will enjoy in Gettysburg is sight.  Previous to this article you might have believed that all whites wines looked the same and red wines all looked like each other as well.  Fortunately, this is not the case.  There are many complexities to the look of each type of wine.

The first thing you’ll want to do is tilt the glass away from you.  Let the wine roll toward the rim of the glass.  Examine its color.  Don’t simply jump to red, or white.  Look deeper, is your red wine more brown than red?  Maybe even slightly amber?  Is your white wine closer to yellow or clear?  A darker color generally indicates an older white wine, while a more orange color indicates an older red wine.  Enjoy the full spectrum of colors produced from a glass of fine wine.

Look again, is your wine more clear or opaque?  Can you see any sediment?  Swirl your glass and see if anything turns up.  A wine containing sediment may be an unfiltered wine, but a wine free of sediment is generally preferred.


Now that you are able to identify the age and filter quality of your wine, let’s move on to smell.  Again, gently swirl the wine in your glass for about 10 seconds.  This allows the wine to release its natural flavors.  Hover your nose over your class and get a quick whiff.  This can be an incredibly enjoyable experience, so repeat as many times as you like.  

Next, stick your nose down into the glass and inhale deeply.  What scents do you notice?  Vanilla?  Maybe some sort of berry?  Oak or cedar?  Take a moment to truly examine and enjoy the flavors you notice within the wine.  Noticing scents that you enjoy or don’t enjoy is key to finding a type of wine that you prefer.

Looking at and smelling fine wine can be an incredibly enjoyable experience, but maybe all you see is red or white and all you smell is grapes and you’re ready to get on to tasting this stuff!  If that’s the case, read “Wine Tasting 102: Taste” to get to everyone’s favorite part...the actual tasting.  



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