Deductive Scales

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As I continue practicing my deductive tasting abilities, I am trying to pick up strategies to help me visualize the wine for each component.  There are a few tips that seem to be helping me most:

* Stand up

For some reason, when you are standing your body is more engaged in the visualization process.

Visualize an internal scale 

Whether you visualize it as a ruler, construction level, piece of thread, weighted scale, it doesn’t matter.  Just have something in your mind’s eye to follow as a marker.

* Visualize the scale range

Have visual markers in your mind on your internal scale.

low – medium minus – medium – medium plus – high

In your mind, do something to make the medium mark stand out.  Remember to follow the movement on your scale and internally point to where it stops for each element that you are assessing.

* Differentiate the scales if needed

For some people, having specific colors or markers for each individual element you are analyzing is helpful.  (For instance, visualize a yellow ruler for acidity, a red ruler for tannins, a green ruler for alcohol, etc.)

* Establish extreme lows and highs

Decide on extreme lows and highs for each element that you are analyzing so that you have a point of reference for yourself.  Some examples include:

Acidity:  Low (water) -> High (biting into a lemon)

Residual Sugar:  Bone Dry (chalky) -> Dessert Sweet (caro syrup)

Alcohol:  Low (water) -> High (port/fortified wine)

Tannin:  Low (gatorade) -> High (chewing on used tea bag)

Finish:  Low (water) -> High (fine whiskey or brandy)

* Talk yourself through the process

Take a sip of water and say out loud, “That is low acidity.” while visualizing the scale you have decided on using.

* Practice to build your memory bank

Keep trying different wines to practice! (The fun part!)

Keep experimenting until you find something that works well for you.  If you have a different method that you think I would benefit from knowing about, please share.

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