Flakon offers you an oenological experience to do alone or with others, in order to discover the world of exceptional wines while learning the secrets of good tasting and its practices, thanks to fun methods accessible to all!
This wine experience is guided, follow our recommendations using this symbol 👁️🗨️ in order to fully enjoy this tasting!
👁️🗨️ Before you begin, designate who will be the narrator of this experience. In fact, it is always more pleasant to bring your evening to life rather than reading a sheet! (we promise we won’t ask too much!)
Preparing your tasting is where it all begins!
At the dawn of this crossing into the unknown, every explorer must be ready before starting their journey! Your tasting deserves care and preparation before allowing your senses to enjoy this unforgettable experience.
1- The secret of a good temperature:
For dry whites: 12°C - i.e. 30 min in the refrigerator or 5 min in the freezer
For rosés: 8°C - i.e. 45 min in the refrigerator or 8 min in the freezer
For reds : 18°C - 5 min in the refrigerator or 2 min in the freezer
👁️🗨️ Don't forget to put your bottles in the fridge a little before your tasting!
2- An explorer without his telescope is unimaginable, so we will help you choose the perfect glass!
A good glass plays a big role in the perception of wine. It is its shape which will determine parameters such as the concentration of aromas towards the nose at the top of the glass, the aeration of the wine which depends on the size of the area of contact with the air, but also the warming temperature. wine, depending on the contact area between the wine and the glass.
To begin with, we recommend that you use “INAO” glasses, the shape of which has been scientifically designed to ensure optimal tasting of all types of wine.
It is THE official glass that oenologists and wine professionals use on a daily basis!
Otherwise, any "tulip" shaped glass (Wide at the bottom of the chalice, narrow at the top. The tulip shape is designed so that the glass plays its dual role: development of aromas in the glass then concentration towards the nose). This will do the job very well to help develop the aromas in the glass and concentrate them towards the nose.
Vary the flavors to break the routine 💥
Make wait for your magnificent dish, because a good tasting can be done without bad taste influence and science says so! 🤷🏽♂️
Get a pack of plain unsalted crackers, or any other neutral food, they will do the job perfectly to cleanse your palate between each wine. Indeed, the flour they contain will absorb the taste of the previous wine, and refresh your taste buds without leaving new tastes in your mouth.
An auditory experience to add a little magic!
Flakon wants to give you a multisensory experience to make your evening unforgettable, it is with this in mind that we have put together a playlist to accompany your tasting in a healthy and calm atmosphere:
👁️🗨️ You can now take out your best speaker and start the playlist. We take care of the atmosphere 🙌
👁️🗨️ Once the bottles are at the right temperature, the aperitif on the table, some background music, you are ready!
Now that everything is ready, let's explore the pleasures of a mysterious world full of surprises 🚀
We think we know wine but we rediscover it every day!
You are now equipped to carry out some experiments and make yourself a budding oenologist. You will surprise your friends at future parties, that's for sure!
👁️🗨️ Pour your 4 wines into the different glasses, taking into account the recommended order. There is no point in adding too much, 1/4 of your glass will be more than enough to give you a first idea.
The importance of physical appearance, we don't talk about it enough... 👗
Even if beauty is internal, we all know that appearance matters too 👀 A good wine must be properly dressed!
The first step in your initiation begins with differentiating a young wine or an old wine visually, by tilting the glass on a white surface.
👁️🗨️ Tilt the glass delicately, the goal is not to rotate the wine and change its aromas (that comes later!)
In the photo above, the old wine is above (2014), rather tiled in color tending to brown, and the young wine below (2019), rather purple in color.
It's often much simpler to compare the colors of several wines to each other rather than trying to describe them without reference. That’s good, you have several wines to try!
Pro tip: For even more precision, here is a wide range of possible dresses (and as a bonus, it makes English work):
👁️🗨️ Keep the glass slightly tilted and turn it gently to see the droplets form and flow down the wall. A golden opportunity to note what you see on your tasting sheets.
Excellent ! A new discovery: the tears (or legs , yes yes) of your wine. Even in wine, tears teach us so many things! 💦
Tears reflect alcohol content, glycerol content, and residual sugar content.
Tears let you know two things about your wine at a glance:
- The more tears, the higher the alcohol/glycerol content.
- The slower the tears flow, the higher the sugar content, making the liquid more viscous and "thick."
It's a bit like the soy sauces in your favorite sushi: you can recognize the sweet sauce because it is more viscous and less fluid than the savory sauce!
The sight is a good start, but the smell is telling
Because the appreciation of a good wine is also done through its smell, it is certainly important to smell, but knowing what you are looking for is better!
👁️🗨️ Now tilt your glass 45° and bring your nose closer. Some people smell odors very well several centimeters from the glass ( lucky guys! ), others need to be closer. So it's up to you to find the distance that suits you.
Start by smelling the wine without shaking the glass, and sounding like a real pro by saying that you smelled the first nose 👃🏼(This is the first olfactory contact you have with the wine in its glass. The olfactory analysis therefore begins with the first nose, that is to say before you swirl the wine in your glass in order to aerate it. The first nose is above all revealing of the wine's defects: cork taste, taste of vinegar, oxidation, reduction. It is during this first olfactory stage that you will feel the wine.) ****
Then you can swirl the wine inside for a few seconds and smell the second nose 👃🏼👃🏼 (The second nose is obtained after stirring the glass which results in exhaling the hidden aromas, less light aromas , the secondary aromas. They are born during fermentation.) Normally, it should bring out other less volatile aromas.
To find the aromas, nothing rocket science. From the moment you have already felt things in your life, the ideas will inevitably be there! Say the first thing that comes to mind, even if it has nothing to do with wine, and the rest will come little by little. As one senses from one's memories, there are never wrong answers. Think of Proust and his madeleine (Do you have the ref? 😋) **
A familiar smell? Name it? How intense is it? When was the last time you smelled this smell?
If you find it difficult, don't panic, you can use our aroma wheel to know a little better which way to look.
Connoisseurs' corner - Primary, secondary and tertiary aromas
Professionals distinguish three types of aromas:
- Primary aromas : grape aromas
Originating from grapes, they depend on the grape varieties and the terroir. Each grape variety bears its typical aromatic signature, the intensity of which varies depending on the variety. It is influenced by the soil, the climate and the management of the vines.
- Secondary aromas : the aromas of fermentation
Produced by the action of yeasts during alcoholic and malolactic fermentations. They depend on the winemaking techniques used by the winemaker.
- Tertiary aromas : The aromas of aging
They come from the aging of the wine. First during its aging, which takes place in vats or barrels, then during its storage in the bottle. They form the bouquet. Fragile, they evolve quickly in the open air.
Be careful, after a while, by sniffing the glasses, your nose will get used to the smells and it can become complicated to smell new ones. The best solution is to smell your own smell, which has the effect of resetting the receptors, and the best place for that is the corner of the elbow, in clothing or on the skin. We might look at you strangely, but I promise, it's a real professional technique.
We get down to business, the most exciting, the most anticipated: The taste 👅
Finally, it’s time for the real tasting! This is generally the part we prefer the most, (right? 😏) even if it's another story to analyze in detail what we taste and put into words what we feel .
As Salvador Dali would say, “He who knows how to taste never drinks wine again but tastes secrets.” »
👁️🗨️ To taste the wine, put a small sip in your mouth and swirl it with your tongue to permeate all areas of the mouth and capture all the flavors.
Not all of the tongue detects the same flavors. The least known is Umami!
The ultimate technique for looking like a true connoisseur (and incidentally feeling even more flavors) is retro-olfaction: the act of sucking in a stream of air through the mouth while keeping the wine there, then exhale it through your nose.
👁️🗨️ Try it, it’s not rocket science! It takes a few tries to master this pirouette, but the restaurant waiter will never look at you the same way again.
Then, you can finally swallow your wine, or spit it out into a small container provided for this purpose if you want to stay focused until the end.
Tell us about the flavors. Which ones do you smell? Are they powerful or light? Intense? Floral? Wooded? Spicy perhaps?
The connoisseurs' corner - the three tasting phases
The perception of wine in the mouth can be broken down into three phases:
- The attack: first contact and first sensations felt in the mouth.
- Mid-palate: the wine evolves in the mouth, the sensations normally become richer and more complex, and allow us to judge its volume and harmony.
- The finish: impression remaining in the mouth after drinking the wine. It reveals the structure of the wine (quality and finesse of the tannins in red wines) and its persistence.
Now that you know what to look for, it's time to have fun. Take your time to do things the way you feel.
Flakon is happy to share with you this sensory experience, aimed at bringing you closer to the wine world. Because that’s the most important thing!
Test your relationship (with wine of course!) 🍇
Simple little questions to ask yourself to determine who would be the best oenologist! 🥰 ****
👁️🗨️ Take a sheet of paper and write down your answers, we're not cheating obviously! 👀
1- Do any of you remember the name of a true oenologist’s perfect glass?
2- We dared to change your eating habits during this tasting, but what were you advised to eat to neutralize bad taste influences?
3- True or False, an Amber-colored white wine is older than a Golden-colored one?
4- Have you been so attentive that you will be able to give us the name of the drops that fall down the glass?
5- What is the difference between the first nose and the second nose?
6- What is Umami?
7- A little technicality doesn't hurt, what is retro-olfaction for? (it's the hardest!)
8- What is the best start-up in the wine world? (This one is just for our ego)
Compare your answers, now that we have brought you closer to wine you have thousands of taste possibilities.
Give us your opinion !
Flakon aims to democratize learning about wine in a fun way, and through this mission we want to offer you the best possible experience! Your opinion matters a lot to us, and we would like you to participate in our development!
A short questionnaire of a few minutes (promise) is available below!
A big thank-you !!