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Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 17 of 21

Tasting Method - Lighter Skin Reds Conclusion


Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 17 of 21

Tasting Method - Lighter Skin Reds Conclusion


Lesson Info

Tasting Method - Lighter Skin Reds Conclusion

So now we're gonna do glass B all over again. Same method. So we can really start to triangulate on what? What it means to be a light skin red dreidel. So I've chosen these two specifically these two white skin red red bridal lines specifically to illustrate the method and how these the importance of the observations you're gonna make and how they start to differentiate the grapes and the place and the tradition and everything that makes wine again talks about the intellectual value of wine. So let's run through it again with glass B. Tell me, what color is it at the center even relative to see if it's worth doing both darker Garnett. Yeah, it's still Garnett, but it's a little bit darker, right? Yeah, medium plus garnett. Right? And then what color does it fade to at the rim? Orangy yellow orange? Yeah, it does fade to a little bit of an orange. So what does that tell us? Remember when we cut the apple, start a little bit for a little bit more age, has a little bit more age or has bee...

n made in a slightly more oxidative winemaking style? And in the case of this wine conclude for you now it's both right. It's both of those things. So just from looking at it, you can start. You made an observation that tells you a lot. It's pretty cool. Okay. And then how about the Clearwater band? While we're there less than the sea than the Pino, do you think it's less? It's bigger? I feel like it's pretty similar. It's easier to see, actually where the stop and start of the color is, and B. But that's true. I wouldn't call it pretty similar. Yeah, and so I mean, do you see a Clearwater band? That's the first question comparing them side by side. I take that back. Okay, Yeah, they're they're very similar. Okay, great. So Medium Plus Clearwater Band tells us what speaks to climate cooler, cooler climate. Exactly. Four Comparison. Let's grab glass a Shiraz, turn that over, look down through it and just look for the Clearwater band. They're even. Is there even a Clearwater Bay, right? Is there even one? It's really, really small. And why is that much warmer? Much warmer not because of dark skin, bro, but because much warmer. And it's a whole lot warmer in the Barossa Valley, where this comes from than in Piedmont, northern Italy. Where that comes from. Yes, where is the better spot toe? Look for the Clearwater Bay like, Is it better look where it tapers off here or it's thicker? And the one So when I look through starting with color, I look right through here in the middle. Right? Then I followed out to the northern end to look for the rim variation, where the color changes in the Clearwater band, I think is actually better. Sort of it, like three o'clock or nine. Okay, right. You just get because it's so straight up. Exactly. Cool. Okay, great. Like it's bigger, obviously, where it's thin are exactly Yep, yeah, and sometimes it's actually hard to read out there. So that's what you go like, three at night, and you could see it better on the sides. So okay, um, brightness. How bright is this? Is his Braves the last ones? No dollar. It's It's In fact, it's so dull. It's just dull. So that tells us something about winemaking Style is probably unf ein unfiltered, right? So it hasn't really been fussed with, um, is there any sediment, See any exactly so that Let's take that back to the color. We found the rim and say, Okay, so while it may have some age, the orange at the rim could tell us age or oxidative winemaking style. We can, We still are going to say, has some age, but probably not a whole lot. Or we'd see sediment to. So then we can infer that. Okay, maybe it's an oxidant of winemaking style that that's allowing us to see the orange of the rim. Is there any gas the bubbling great and have a viscosity? It's more viscous than the peanut Nawar. I don't think it's what do you think I'm with you? Yep. Exactly. Jessica. How do you feel about that? They took me. Yep. So, yes, while it may be slightly more biscuits in the peanut noir, is it biscuits enough to fall into the medium plus category? Probably not, Right? So if you think about that, you've got five stops on the viscosity lo mania minus media meaning plus and high. And not that each of those accounts for a full fifth of the opportunities right. It's not like each one's 20%. We can't say that, but we can say that there is certainly a range within each stop. And this is This is also a great example of medium viscosity, which is then tells us what a clue that this comes from. What kind of place? Climate, temperate climate? Exactly. Yeah. So just keep coming back to it. Right? Right. That corroborates what we said about the Clearwater band. All right, now let's smell it. Let's keep going. What do you smell? I like the face you're making. That's good. It's great. It's very strange. Yeah, it is. I smell the alcohol lot more like it's almost like nail polish. Not much. Yeah, like more so than, uh, so nail polish. It's It's more of, ah, reminder of, uh, it's bullets. Heil acidity really is what it is. It's a It's a type of acid that that happens, Um, sometimes with a certain winemaking style. Sometimes it's a you know, it grows essentially in the winery, and it can. It can talk to, um, a number of things, but in this case, really a very traditional or old style of winemaking that occurs in this place when you smell that in conjunction with the other aromas, which you're all about to name. You can start to begin to think about a specific place, so, yeah, it does have that kind of nail polish remover smell. It's not a bad thing. I think that that could be a catalyst for other things. What else do you smell? It's red fruit there, Rid. I agree. Red fruits, Jerry. Red cherry sour cherry on sour sour raspberry raspberry cranberry list. Right. It's in there, isn't it? What else do we smell? You got service still there, too? Yep. Okay. More like a caramel lee served than what you were saying of the fruity served last time. Yeah, I don't think Yeah. How about licorice or fennel or anise? Do you get any of those? Definitely fennel. Definitely federal. That's a great benchmark or banker factor, as we call him for this particular grape in this place, that fennel qualities. We've got red fruits. We've got fennel. What else do we have? Maybe some of that toast, because I'm kind of getting the like, fruity, mixed berry jelly on toast. It's something to do with, like, buttery and the statement of the Fred. Okay, that's fair. But are you actually, then, like linking into vanilla and brown spices Or, uh, I mean, maybe, maybe like a brown sugar. I don't know what. It's a little bit sweet, but not overpowering. Okay, great. So that's very fair. It doesn't, but it doesn't sound like we're talking about even as much evidence of wood as the last wine, which didn't have a lot. Yeah. Okay, great. What else do we smell? I think there is an earthy I agree with you. There indeed is an earthy thing. What is it like a mushroom mushroom? Okay, that's a tobacco tobacco. Great. She's been like, like leaves almost like fallen leaves on the kicking around on the trail in the fall. Death? Yeah. School, isn't it? Comparing the smell to the pain, Anwar, the piano bar has a lot of really present spices. Yeah, and this It's way more subdued. Okay, great. So if in the peanut noir those spices came from new oak and we don't have them here, let's make an inference. What's it? Probably not new of Probably not age new oak. Is that cool? Right? And so that's exactly what you're supposed to doing. triangulating. That's the context and triangulate off of each of each of the other pieces. You start to get really smart about this. Okay, great. So we've got fruits. They were red fruits by and large, right? We said. Sour cherry, raspberry, cranberry. We talked about tobacco. We talked about, and this is a really important piece. We talked about mushroom fallen leaves. That's the earthy component. We don't really have anything supporting the use of new wood. Is there anything else you want to say about this? Let's make some conclusions. The role of wine is this big. It's a red wine. The light skin red varietal. What kind of climate? Cooler climate? Okay, great Old world or New World? Potentially based on the earthy smells old world just got really small again, right? You feel it. So we're almost there. We have even tasted this thing. It's pretty neat, so let's taste it. And even though you know what the tannins are, I still want you to switch it up there between you chicken gum. Let's start with the tannins. There sure are. They are, and I actually really like him. It was interesting, but again, it's not about like or not. Like, where are these tannins on that scale there? Hi. This is a great example of high tannin in a red wine. Where's the alcohol? So medium high. Our immediate medium. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone feel Keep Camille magnet to this one. It's like, Yeah, it's amore than the penal are a little bit like exactly Yeah, it's a media. Maybe medium plus, Yeah. Somewhere in that range is fine. How about the acidity? Think about that again. Filipino seem like it was pretty well balanced. But in this case, it seems like the tannins are standing out more than the acid. Exactly. They are saying that more than acid. It's really this. Is that such a great point? And here's the work is you have to separate them only when you separate them and you get a different and you get a real read on both pieces. Do we really understand what the grape is about? The places about what it's all about? So that's the good work. So separate him and think about the tans drying out of here. The city is gonna work on your tongue. And as I'm talking to you, my mouth is watering. It has a lot of assets. So now let's make that not subjective. Let's make an objective. A lot of acid. Is it high acid like the sauvignon blanc yesterday? No, but it's maybe just a click under it. So medium plus acidity meaning so. Very few, If you let's triangulate again. Light skin red varietal with high tannins and medium plus acid. The list is there, like to let it is pretty cool, right? So eventually the world is really, really small. And then let's talk about the length. How long is it? It's like going and going, And it was kind of like fills all the cracks and crevices of your head with the perfume. You know what I'm talking. This is the perfume. It's really comes back to the Anis the fennel. Think that's pretty neat. Fruits Do we taste the cranberry? The red cherry hit you The second hitter tangling goes away. Yeah, so it's not a fruit forward wine, actually, right there there. But then they didn't like The main thing is that finally starting its flavor. It's so cool. Okay, great to taste that the fallen leaves and the tobacco Onda earthy mushroom. Anything. Is it President Palette? Yes. After that's what follows your fruit. It is. There it is. There is cool. This pretty complex wine actually mean what we're talking about there a lot of different pieces going on here. So it is earthy. Do we find any evidence of oak ageing? I don't think so. Like a peppery, But I don't think it's OK. Peppery. Okay. All right. They were uncomfortable with that. So no real evidence of new wood. Is it balanced? Yeah. Yeah, it is, isn't it? So even now, like on the finish, the long finish, it's pretty pleasant, whether I mean, it's pretty. It's in sync, right? It's not like, Oh, my God. We had that horrible tan an attack, and they were just, like, left with it crushed on the side of the road, right? It does its thing. And then it goes away, and the acidity does its thing, and it also goes away. And they were kind of left with these flavors. Says that everyone feel that Yeah, it makes sense, doesn't it? Okay, so I think that we can do the same thing here. We can also do it here red wine. What color were these fruits, right, they go red. Now. Did we find any evidence of oak? So we're gonna go away from the obvious new oak and go to the old oak. Old wood is OK, or you hate this stuff. This is you know, it's about preference. But it's also in this case about what we observed. And we didn't observe any evidence of new would. And did we find it to be earthy? Yes. Yeah, we sure did. So these are the possibilities. Gammy like Beaujolais, French ganache, sangiovese, like in County Brunello, Um, or Neb YOLO, such as in Barolo and Barbaresco. Ways to differentiate. Differentiate. These things would be. The gamay does not have high tannins. So does that fit this wine disposal? They have structure like this? No, you're borrowing my context today. The answer is no. It definitely does not. Green ash as another possibility, as it was in the last one, tends to push a lot of strawberry and a lot of white pepper As a varietal, it also tends to have medium plus or higher alcohol. Does that fit with what we talked about here now? Never yellow specifically tends to have a fennel or anise thing. It's a elevated, acid elevated tannin grape. Does that fit when we talk about so so you? Once you get in the family, if you go back to the honest observations you made, it can really only be one thing. Do you feel that? And these are great book ends. Okay, so, really, to conclude, I mean, in this case, you've got 2010 Barbaresco from great producers actually called. It's probably great is co up in all of winemaking. Predatory to Barbaresco. Um, it's special stuff, in fact, but when we talk about what is Barbaresco, what can we infer about it? It's some, Well, it's It's a hilltop village in Piedmont, Italy. Nebula is the grape right, and it doesn't say that anywhere. But you know that now and importantly, it's a high tannin, high acid grape that has historically been made in a slightly oxidative winemaking style. It so it's a wine that's meant to live a very, very long time, and thus the acidity and the tannins help afford that long life. But the winemaking cell tends to be oxidative, as as as the grape, and that's why, when you look at, go back to the color. Remember how we said, Okay, it has a little bit of orange. So it's potentially older or an oxidant of winemaking style will. In fact, this is a great example of the latter. Please, what would you recommend? I know it's very personal, but what would you recommend? Aging this like, How long would you what would you drink this? I would probably wait. I mean, for me. Personally, I think this is like there's this is very, very good number. YOLO. There's also like, Amazing Nebula and this is this is very, very good. It's also very, very affordable. It's like 30 bucks. Yeah, sure. Yeah. So, um, I actually owned some of this wine, and I would say that that I would 5 to 10 years, you know? And then again, I just got done telling you in the food wine pairing thing that there are no rules. I do know that the path to my happiness is to sort of ameliorate those stands with something a little bit richer. So there's either gonna be butter or protein or something. And probably a whole lot of truffles involved in whatever eat that is going to be a pretty pretty pretty thing. Yeah, and you talk about oxidative winemaking style. What? How is that different or what? What makes it oxidative? That's a great question. So it's It's the presence of oxygen, frankly, so it's probably not done in. Historically. A lot of winemaking was oxygenated, right? You pump it over, you punch it down, or there's no top on the vessel that your fermenting in. And as we've gotten better and better control over over everything on the planet, people have figured out well. I want to keep the fruits really fresh, and so they start. They put a lid on the thing that it fermented, and then you punch down instead of pumping over. You know all these steps that you can take in winemaking to eliminate exposure to oxygen, and it keeps It may be more crystal ing, but maybe it's not the thing that actually works best with a varietal. Mary Think Pino noir is probably better today than it ever has been, because we figured out how not work with it in a way that where it sees a lot of oxygen through its lifetime before it gets into the bottle. You know a lot of guys in Burgundy, which I think is probably the apogee of peanut or on the planet. They actually go to bottle with a little bit of UN absorb CO two, still knowing that will dissipate over, you know, the first year or so, but it's it's protective, right? So it protects the line. And in this case, it was probably Asian. A great big oak barrel for a very long time. At least three years will two years, then another in the bottle based on the laws, maybe even longer, depending on the vintage. And when that happens, there is that patina happening. It is taking on oxygen. It is taking on the browning, if you will. But I also think it's really appropriate for Never YOLO. Yes, so it's You know what happens in what place. It's not one solution for every grape, right? And so when it is not one solution for every grape, we can actually learn a lot about the place if you the tasting, which is the whole thesis. So how do we feel about light skin red wines? We've seen examples that have shown is the difference between Old World and New World. Do you guys feel good about that? Great. We've seen examples that shows different levels of tannin. You know what's high? What's medium? Different levels of acidity feel good about all this great different levels of oak use. These are the important nuggets to really through juxtaposing these two wines. You know what red light skin red dreidels are. But you now understand all these important differences so that you can use the method intelligently and understand exactly why the wines are the way they are and therefore what? What? We know exactly what the places air all about from whence they come. Good questions. I have a question from one of our online audience. He is wondering, This is Chris again. Why are barrels on Lee ever made out of different types of oak? Why not other dunce would such as ebony or maple? It's a great question. Um, Emini, I don't know why they have not tried Ebony. Um you know, uh, chestnut has been used historically in Europe. I mean, it's if you look it. You know where most of the Wyness from historically is from Europe. And so they've used the folks that are around there and Chestnut has been used. Historically, different types of oak, they found, offer flavors that they like. They also imparts its own tannin. And certain Woods will have mawr tannin than others. And so, for sure, um, you know, they've at some point someone played with something that was too tannic or, um, you know, in Japan and whisky production, they use a note called Music Nara, and that's the local oak. It's also it's very hard to work with. It loves to leak, and therefore it's very expensive and costly. And so for sure, that experimentations happened over the years and they just figured out Well, this is This is the one that works, right? So we figured that out a long time ago.

Class Description

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  • Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc – the impact of climate and oak
  • Riesling, Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Zinfandel – balance, sweetness, and alcohol content
  • Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio, Gruner Veltliner, and Chenin Blanc – important grapes, small subtleties
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and it’s subjects – regional expression of the ubiquitous reds
  • Pinot Noir – temperamental grapes and growing in France, California, Oregon and Australia
  • Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo – wine production in Italy and Spain
  • Syrah/Shiraz, Grenache and friends – blends and winemaker’s intent

You’ll also learn about the unique ways we modify wine, like making it sparkle, heating it, turning it into Port, and so much more! This class will help you get more comfortable with wine, remove much of it’s mystery, and show you how to integrate it into your everyday life.

Pair your appreciation for wine with knowledge in this accessible and educational class. Join Richard for Become a Great Wine Taster and never fumble over wine selection again.


a Creativelive Student

This course was amazing. As someone who felt really intimidated by wine before, I finished the course feeling a lot more confident and excited to try out my new wine knowledge. Great instructor with great content. Would definitely recommend!


Good course, needs to identify wines to set up tasting. It was fun to do with friends. Perfect to watch in the segments.


Fabulous! I've passed the Introductory Exam for the Court of Master Sommeliers, but, never ginned up (pun intended) the deductive tasting. This did it. There are several of us who purchased this course and are doing out best to re-create the tastings and memorize the map. Thanks so much for the class and for Richard Betts.