Tasting All you need to know about tasting
Wine tasting is easy, yet complicated! Easy because it implies revelling in the simple pleasures of those delightful sensations; complicated because by appreciating the various shades of colour, aromas and tastes, we multiply the pleasures of tasting! And there may be not doubt that due to their diversity, Languedoc AOC wines provide many an occasion for tasting, in order to discover the uniqueness of each and everyone. Appreciating one wine and preferring another is already a first step in the art of tasting.
Indeed, tasting is primarily the ability to analyse one’s impressions and then to describe them using specific vocabulary.
It is also the ability to memorise the aromas and flavours of many different wines. Wine-tasting, known as “sensorial analysis”, is essentially broken down into three different phases, each one evoking the three main senses: vision, smell and taste. Tasting Guide in PDF format
Where to learn about wine tasting in the Languedoc?
Beginners’ or advanced wine-tasting courses are organised by various organisations in the Languedoc. Here are some examples:
La Maison des Vins des Coteaux du Languedoc (Lattes)
Two courses are proposed by the House of Languedoc Wines:
- Wine-tasting for beginners. Here, we deal with the basic techniques: the four flavours, aroma, balance, vocabulary and a progressive, often diligent, putting into practice.
- Wine-tasting for the advanced. Here, we learn about the uniqueness of the various grape types, their contribution when combined with others, their weak points and disease, followed by an intense practice session.
For amateurs, evening courses are proposed from 6.30 to 8.30 p.m.
For professionals, courses run during the day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To find out the dates of training courses, check the www.coteaux-languedoc.com Website or contact the “Maison des Vins” on: #33 (0)4 67 06 04 44
La Cité de la Vigne et du Vin (Gruissan)
The Vine and Wine City organises beginners’ wine-tasting courses throughout the summer season.
Besides the oenology-theme terminals at the sale’s point (interactive tools, both fun and educational, dedicated to the discovery of the wine industry), cookery lessons and wine-tasting courses are organised throughout the year.
Information and opening hours:
Vinipolis 5, avenue des Vendanges 34510 Florensac
La Maison des Vins de Saint-Chinian
The House of Wines, located in the heart of Saint-Chinian in a splendid building dating back to the 18th Century, offers the visitor a hive of services, enabling him or her to discover the Saint-Chinian wine in an autonomous, though organised manner. Here you will find a whole range of wine-growers, with a display of more than 150 wine references in red or rosé AOC.
The wines may be tasted in the best of conditions. An interactive terminal informs visitors about the Saint-Chinian wine, wine-waiters give advice on the food and wine combinations, and many a map provides rambling and accommodation ideas. On the first floor can be found a tasting room, able to accommodate 30 amateur tasters for a wine-tasting lesson. Since 2006, the Saint-Chinian Wine Union also organises the “60-minute timed Flavours from Saint-Chinian” contest, held in Paris in partnership with the “Atelier des Chefs”.
The idea is simple: an amusing approach to cooking and oenology via weekly courses held in Parisian departmental stores - one hour to concoct a main course and dessert!
For further information, click here.
Maison des vins Avenue de la Promenade 34360 Saint-Chinian
Phone: 04 67 38 11 69
Fax: 04 67 38 16 33
Wine-tasting workshops organised by the Youth Centre (MJC) in Narbonne and held at the CIVL
Since 2007, the Youth Centre in Narbonne, in partnership with the CIVL (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Languedoc - Interprofessional Council of Languedoc Wines), organises weekly beginners’ wine-tasting courses with varying themes: "Diversity in the Corbières Region", "Wine Basics Course", "The Charm of the Faugères Region", "The Other Side of Saint-Chinian”, “Advanced Wine Course”, etc.
These sessions are generally held on Wednesday evenings, from 8.30 to 10.30 p.m., at the head office of the CIVL and hosted by Aurore Baconnais.
In addition, many Websites propose various courses, including oenology and wine-tasting for beginners. Below are a few suggestions:
Finally, general or specialised bookshops have many useful wine-tasting guidebooks on sale.