TASTING

Wine tasting is a pleasure (to consume with moderation) which some consider to be an art form. Wine enthusiasts will search their memories to find just the right name for certain colors, fragrances or aromas, while the professionals will also try to determine the wine's origin and the grapes and techniques used to make it. But in any case, sincerity and simplicity are a must. It should never be forgotten that pleasure is the key, and the most important factor in wine tasting is one simple question: do I like it or not?

MANY different senses are part of wine tasting

SIGHT

Looking at a wine means appreciating its color, its clarity and its brilliance. The appropriate glass must be used: it should be elegant, with a slender stem for holding so that the fingers don't obstruct the observation of its contents.

smell

The fragrances are perceived either directly with the nose or after having placed the wine in your mouth, via the back of the throat (a phenomenon known as "retro-olfaction"). Two types of aromas are combined: primary aromas, from the grape itself, and secondary aromas from the fermentation process and the winemaking techniques. During a tasting, it is best to first smell the wine undisturbed in the glass (called the "1st nose"), because this is when the most discreet aromas can be perceived. Then you should swirl the wine around in the glass to release stronger aromas.

taste

Only a small quantity of wine is necessary to appreciate its taste, but you must "move it around in your mouth" because the four basic tastes are perceived one after the other, and may take a few seconds to appear. Sugar is the first taste perceived, and normally disappears quite quickly: taste buds for sugar are located on the tip of the tongue. Salt (quite rare in wines), acidity and bitterness come next, and last longer. Taste is combined with small via retro-olfaction, and "to taste" is actually a combination of tasting and smelling.

HARMONy and PERSISTANCE

The harmony of the aromas and savors should persist during the entire tasting. A quality wine shouldn't have any "gaps" – i.e., temporary lacks during the tasting. The duration of the perception, whether or not it has a "long finish", is determined by how long the agreeable sensation continues in your mouth, and depends on both taste and olfactory elements: good persistence may last more than a dozen seconds.

PROVENCE REDS

If it is young, lively and fruity, a Provence Red is the perfect accompaniment for grilled meats with Mediterranean herbs, white meats, lamb, a cold beef stew, vegetable gratins or tomatoes with olive oil. But more and more top-shelf reds are being produced in Provence that can be aged. When they have reached maturity, after barrel aging, they go very well with more tasty dishes such as meats in sauce (stews, game, "pieds et paquets"), or aged cheeses.
They should be served at 14-16°C for young wines and 16-18°C for aged wines.

PROVENCE ROSÉS

A true pleasure for the eyes with their beautiful salmon color, Provence Rosés are light, fruity, smooth, lively and aromatic. They offer savors you won't find anywhere else, and which are the perfect accompaniment for Provençal dishes: ratatouille, braised artichokes "à la barigoule", zucchini flowers, stuffed Provençal vegetables, sea bass with fennel, mullet filet with thyme and spices, aïoli, soup with pesto, anchoïade, bouillabaisse. They are also excellent with the salty tastes of sea urchins and sea figs, and go very well with sushi, Thai cooking, Tajines from Morocco and Indian curries.
They should be served at 8-10°C.

PROVENCE whites

Lively and clean, smooth and full-bodied, and above all very tasty, Provence Whites provide elegant freshness for seafood and fish, whether grilled or in a sauce, and are also an excellent aperitif. Top-shelf whites, aged in barrels, will find their full expression with white meats, truffles and goat cheese.
They should be served at 6-8°C.

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