Wine tasting 3 of 3

The 27th Annual San Angelo Wine & Food Festival pours forth Thursday at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts and continues Friday at Fort Concho stables.

During past two weeks, we explored first three of five S’s of tasting wine: see, swirl, and smell. Today, we finally get to drink: sip and savor.

Sip: do not swallow, allow the wine to roll around in your mouth and coat your tongue; breath through your nose, suck a little air through your lips. Swallow now. Even in sip stage, smell is vital to wine pleasure.

Savor: involves three stages of taste—attack, evolution, and finish.

Attack is the initial palate impression and involves four elements: alcohol, tannin, acidity, sugar. Ideally, these are well-balanced—no one or two dominate.

• Evolution, also called mid-palate, is the actual taste on your palate. This reveals the wine’s flavor profile. Red wine—red and black berries, plum, prune, fig; perhaps spice, pepper, clove, cinnamon, or woody flavors like oak, cedar, smokiness, and many more. White wine—apple, pear, tropical or citrus fruits; maybe flowers, honey, butter, herbs, earthiness, and many more. Wine flavors are among world’s most complex.

• Finish is how long the flavor remains after you swallow or spit. Did the taste last several seconds? Was it light-bodied (water), medium-bodied (milk) or full-bodied (cream)? Can you taste remnants on the back of your mouth and throat? Generally, the longer the good finish, the better the wine.

Fully equipped with the five S’s, see you at the wine festival this week.


• Laird Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley. $19

• Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles. $20

• Faustina V Reserva. Spain. $21

• Falanghina Dei Feundi Di San Gregorio. Italy. $19

• Frog’s Leap Zinfandel. Napa Valley. $29