Tasting Exercise: Barrel Presence

My goal while learning about different wines is to become proficient in all of the aspects of tasting.  There are a plethora of tasting exercises that can be completed to help accomplish this goal.  This week I will be focusing on learning about barrel presence in wine.

* Pour a Chardonnay with no oak (AOP Chablis from a producer known to utilize stainless steel or older oak) versus a Chardonnay with oak (Premier or Grand Cru Puligny-Montrachet from a producer known to utilize oak).

* Taste side by side, knowing which one is which.  Describe any notes that remind you of smells related to oak in wine: cinnamon, vanilla, cedar, coconut, dill, etc.)

*Blind taste the two wines in a “Lazy Susan” fashion five times.  Repeat five days in a row.

* Repeat the same exercise with other grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Syrah, etc.