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Wine Spectator School

Class 1: Intro to Tasting: White Wine

your sense of taste


Tastes in Wine: Sweet, Tart and Bitter

In contrast to the enormous number of aromas, there are only four tastes. They are sweet, sour  (or tart), bitter and salty. Since salt does not normally occur in wine, we need to focus on only three tastes:

Sweetness comes from sugars and alcohol

Tartness comes from acids

Bitterness is caused by tannins, which are found primarily in red wines


Tongue Tastes

The sensation of taste is perceived by taste buds, which, for the most part, are located on your tongue. The taste buds are undifferentiated, meaning that each bud senses all the tastes. The net result is that you can taste sour, bitter and sweet anywhere on your tongue.


Taste and Touch


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