Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Good wine anyone?

Published:Thursday | October 29, 2015 | 10:01 AM
Carl Gilchrist Photo Come for the wine, enjoy the vibe at Kri'so, Ocho Rios' first wine bar.
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As I typically roam the aisles in the wine section of my local supermarket, I invariably get stopped and asked, "Is this a good wine?"

My response typically begins with you won't know until you try it. Yes, there are a few key things you can pay attention to which help you to know, if you really are into knowing, that is.

The region plays a big part in what you might experience - the vintage and the winemaker. But even with all of that, there is still no guarantee it will be a good one until you find yourself in a relaxed position with a glass or two and a few friends.

Also, there is the misconception that the more expensive a wine is makes it a good wine. While I am inclined to agree that there is a correlation, it is not always true.

What makes a wine good is a little more than if you happen to particularly like that one as a matter of personal choice. In browsing and chatting to some serious winos over time, what makes a good wine will come down to a few things.

Like all things in life, if it smells good you are naturally drawn to it. It's like passing someone that smells really good and you almost want to follow them because the smell is

captivating. And the opposite is true. So how a wine smells will give you a good idea if it's going to be something

worthwhile or not.

Having got the first few sniffs and your taste buds are now tingling with anticipation, the first few sips give an idea of balance. Balance is where all components are in symbiotic harmony, playing peacefully together, no one component rearing its ugly head. The ideal balance is where tannins are texturally pleasing to your palate, how delicate it feels on your tongue, as if being gently caressed. The fruitiness is present but not overpowering and the presence of alcohol is almost imperceptible.

Typically, when you go out and see a member of the opposite sex, how they put themselves together and how they smell, all drive that internal desire to say hi. That's smell and balance. But having crossed the room to say hi, is there any depth to that person that makes you want to engage beyond that?

That's the next thing to look for. The depth and complexity, like a conversation, makes it far more interesting, challenging and exciting. The layers of flavours and aromas, however subtle, and when paired with the right food that really begins to enhance the flavours.

Last is its finish. This is essentially how long the flavour lingers on your tongue. If it fades quickly, then chances are it's not a very good wine. When the taste lingers almost like it's massaging your tongue after you've swallowed, you know you're definitely on to

something spectacular.

Finding a good wine is almost like a first date, when everything is nicely wrapped in an amazing package and the conversation is effortless and almost never-ending, you feel content, happy and certainly indulgent for another date.

There are lots of 'good' wines available on the market that you don't need to go to a wine shop or boutique supermarket to get, although you can. Spend some time making a list of the things you've tried, what you liked about it, and what you didn't, and challenge yourself with your newly developed perspective and try something new.

n I am not an expert, merely a wine enthusiast sharing my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences at

wineenthusiastja@

gmail.com.