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What is a Vertical Tasting?

What is a Vertical Tasting?

Imagine stepping into a time machine made of wine bottles- welcome to Vertical Tasting!

So, what exactly is a Vertical Tasting? Think of it as a sensory journey where you taste different vintages (years the grapes were harvested) of the same wine, side by side. It’s like seeing a movie’s sequels but in liquid form.

Now, why do these vintages taste different? The magic lies in Mother Nature and in the winemaker’s creativity. Each year, grapes face unique weather, sunlight, and soil conditions—nature’s whimsy at play. These variations directly influence how grapes grow, ripen, and ultimately, the flavor they bring to your glass.

As wine enthusiasts, savoring a Vertical Tasting unveils the story of a wine’s evolution. You’ll notice nuances, like how one year might boast fruit notes, while another offers a richer, more complex taste.

Vertical Tastings aren’t just about sipping—they’re about unraveling the tale bottled up in every vintage.

How Winemaking Techniques Affect a Wine

Every wine has its own personality. It is rarely possible to control its outcome unless you know the vineyard and the varietal temperament and understand what yeast, nutrient, and chemistry balance is needed throughout its entire journey from grape to juice to the final wine in bottle.

For example, a full-bodied wine starts with quality grapes being harvested, fermented, processed, and aged in oak barrels to disguise the sharpness of the acidity.  This happens by layering in the essentials of texture, character, and aromas to invite a sensational sensory experience from the oak tannin to introduce the layering process as it integrates into the wine tannins.

Every decision in the winemaking process matters- from fermentation to cellar maintenance to barrel aging, filtering, bottling, and bottle aging. Sediment, proteins, tannin, oak tannin, and tartrates (wine diamonds) are all essential parts that make a wine unique.

Over time, as the wine ages, many elements of the process help a wine form its full-bodied complexity. Developing a quality wine takes strategy and patience. For a bold red wine, its bottling is usually within two years to give it time to mature and gain additional elements from the cask it lived in for its existence.

Once bottled, the wine’s next crucial steps over the following years are bottling and aging, with the winemaker tasting the wines regularly. This leads to sensory evaluation and the art of analyzing the layers of its origin as well as its complexity from vine to bottle.