Drinking a glass of wine can be a anything from a blasé experience to an esthetic adventure reminiscent of the fine arts. The amateur may look on in disbelief or awe at the way someone with wine-knowledge taste wines and listen in amazement to the long flow of gustatory adjectives used to describe one glass. Many questions arise: Does the experts really know what they’re talking about? How can one say so much about a single bottle, aren’t they all the same? Just what is a good variety? In this article, American Luxury Limousines own wine-concierge and Santa Barbara wine tour specialist, Zeke Martinez, will answer these questions and in so doing will try to dispel some of the unnecessary suspicion or mystery that still surrounds the art of simply drinking wines. We are a Los Angeles limousine company that has offered price-awarding Malibu wine tour offers and Santa Ynez wine-tasting tour options for more than fifteen years. Besides offering customized trips to the gorgeous vineyards, we also offer LA limo services throughout the larger L.A. area, also including top rated LAX sedan service.
Malibu Family Wines
Firstly a good-tasting or “fine” variety is meant to be savored, never guzzled. This could be the main characteristic that set wines apart from most other alcoholic beverages. As with other arts, a certain technique has developed for its evaluation, and these simple steps will help you a long way in the art of appreciating fine wines: 

1) Hold the glass to the light and note its color and appearance. Notice also if the specific variety is clear. Before the advent of modern technology in producing, some of the primitive filtration techniques did not remove all the suspended particles, often leaving a cloudy and not very esthetically pleasant variety. All of the wines produced in the State of California that are available at the market today, and thereby offered to our Los Angeles limousine clients, should be brilliantly clear.

2) Gently swirl it in the glass. This will help by bringing out various odors that may be present. Sniff the wine to detect the aroma of the grape or grapes from which the wines were made and to see if there’s any bouquet, which develops during the aging process. Should the fragrance turn out to be pleasant, the simple procedure of sniffing before tasting will greatly enhance your enjoyment of a good-tasting variety. Wines should never have vinegary, sharp aromas. Neither should there be any hint of harshness or hotness, says our Santa Barbara wine tour expert, as this usually is a sign of undesirable aldehydes (unwanted chemical constituents). One Ventura party bus client visiting a winery in the Temecula Valley told us that one variety was particularly earthy. This is not strange, says our 
concierge: "the most common off odors include earthy, raisiny, yeasty, sulfur dioxide, green, and woody."

3) The art of wine-tasting. Take a relatively small sip and roll it over your tongue so that all the areas of taste are reached. Keep in mind that each of the four basic human tastes are sensed on particular areas of the tongue, i.e. you’re tasting the sweetness from the tip of your tongue, while bitterness and sourness on other areas of the tongue. Pay attention to the feel of it on the tongue: is it light or heavy? If it’s a red you’re enjoying, you may also want to pay particular attention to the amount of tannin or astringency.

Bridlewood Estate Winery
Finally, a couple of remarks on the temperature. Whites should be served chill, the optimal temperature would be between 50 to 55 degrees, low enough to be refreshing but still not so cold as to suppress its aroma. Reds are traditionally served at cellar temperatures, about 10-15 degrees warmer than the white wines. This is sometimes a problem for many using our LA limo services in SoCal, where we are used to the temperature often rising into the eighties and beyond. Make sure not to hold the glass in a way that your hand heats it (always hold the stem), and on a warm Southern California day, make sure to keep the glass in the coolest area around, never in direct sun-light.

Are you ready to give it a try? We specialize in various Southern California wine-regions, including but not limited to Santa Ynez wine-tasting tours, Temecula tours, Malibu wine tours, Santa Maria Valley Tours, as well as our award-winning Santa Barbara wine tour options. Feel free to contact us any day or any time with any questions you may have about our customized vineyard-excursions throughout Southern California.
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