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Wine Spectator School

Class 6: Traveling the Old World

sip: taste, body, flavor


Taste and Body

  1. Sip and swish your Rioja Reserva, assessing both taste and body in a single step.
  2. Swallow or spit, and mark your worksheet.
  3. Repeat with the Chianti Classico.
  4. How do the wines compare?

    • The Rioja Reserva is frequently lower in acidity than the Chianti, with smoother tannins, a medium body and a mouthfeel that may be "gentler" than the Chiantis.
    • The Chianti Classico probably has more acidity and rougher tannins than the Rioja, but may be similar in body or weight. Its mouthfeel may be more "lively" than the Riojas.



  1. Sip, swish and spit the Rioja Reserva and identify its flavors; note your worksheet.
  2. Repeat the process with the Chianti Classico.

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