Taste of the wine

Taste of the wine

When we talk about the taste of the wine or wine tasting, we think of gustatory perception and reactions, which emerge in our mouth during the tasting. In order to explain the perceptions of a tasting in a simple way, it is classified in three categories: gustatory perception, sensing of consistency, retronasal perception

Gustatory perception
The gustatory perceptions are transmitted by taste buds, which are located on the tongue. The tongue differentiates between bitter, sour, sweet and salty.

Bitter taste: Tannins, which are mainly present in red wine, are responsible for sour taste. Tannins predominantly are released from stems, skins and seeds and have a conserving function. Besides, bitter tasting polyphenol escapes from the wooden barrels. Bitter taste is perceived on the back part of the tongue.

Sour taste: A balanced acidity is necessary for the freshness and intensity of a wine. The wine should have a pH level between 3 and 5. The acidity is also beneficial for the wine’s durability. Among the acids are the tartaric acid, the lactic acid and the malic acid. Sour taste is perceived on the back side sections of the tongue.

Sweet taste: Wine is sweet if the grapes have achieved a high maturity level or if the fermentation was not completed. Not all kinds of sugar are fermentable, which is why there is always remaining quantity of sugar in wine. Sweet taste is perceived on the tip of the tongue.

Salty taste: Salty taste in wine is rather seldom and is attributable to mineral salts, which are passed over to the grape from the soil. Salty taste is perceived on the front side sections of the tongue.

Sensing of the wine’s consistency
This kind of perception plays a very important role at evaluating wine, since not only taste buds but also the trigeminal nerve is involved. Sensations transmitted by the trigeminal nerve are not gustatory but tactile, as for example a soft, sharp or rough texture as well as the temperature of a wine.

Retronasal perception
In contrast to the olfactory smelling where the inhaled air is evaluated, during the retronasal perception the exhaled air, which has absorbed olfactory stimuluses from the mouth, is evaluated.