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Why should dry wines always be tasted before sweet wines?

During a wine-tasting why should dry wines always be tasted before sweet wines?

The sequence in which we taste often modifies our perceptions due to adaptations to the earlier tastes. For example, if a sweet wine is tasted before a dry wine, the dry wine's tartness will be exaggerated by contrast with the sweetness of the wine tasted first. Rules for the order of tasting wines have been developed to help compensate for this effect.

glasses of various colors of wine

Follow these wine tasting guidelines:

  1. white before red

  2. dry before sweet

  3. young before old

  4. modest before fine

  5. light-bodied before full-bodied

  6. light young red before full-bodied, sweet white

sauvignon blanc grapes

True or False: Pouilly Fumé, Fumé Blanc, Blanc Fumé and Sauvignon Blanc are all the same.

True - basically. Pouilly Fumé is produced in France, and is the Loire region's most famous wine. It is also referred to there as Blanc Fumé. Both Pouilly Fumé and Blanc Fumé wines are made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

In America the name Fumé Blanc was thought up by Robert Mondavi who believed the name Sauvignon Blanc lacked marketability. By renaming it Fumé Blanc he thought it would closer associate the wine with the more glamorous imported Pouilly-Fumé of France. The idea stuck and has been a huge commercial success.

red wine being filtered

The difference between filtering and fining in winemaking

During the final stages of winemaking, wine often goes through filtering and fining. So, what's the difference?

Fining is the process used to alter certain properties of wine. Fining agents such as gelatin or egg whites are mixed into the wine and react with specific components that are to be removed by filtration.

In filtering, the wine is forced through a medium that traps and removes unwanted particles such as bits of soil, grape skins and/or fining agents.

Originally published in our Gold Wine Club's The Wine Press Wine Wizard, McDowell Valley Vineyards and Davis Bynum Winery edition featured in 1995.