As a wine drinker, have you ever noticed the diversification of red, white, and any other wines? If you go to the grocery store, you will see many different types of one kind of wine. Although they are all primarily similar, each wine has slight differences that a simple taste test can depict. Hence, you will see wine flights of these wines at wine tasting events, which are becoming popular all around. What is wine flight? Let us explain!
Wine Flight Quickly Explained
If you go to any wine tasting event, you will see an array of different wines set up called a wine flight. It is called a wine flight. The ‘flight’ portion of the name implies a group of wine it represents. This group of wines is usually an assortment of up to 8 indistinguishable wines. The wines are typically displayed with various cheeses or other appetizers at these events. Wine flights are set up so that the wine connoisseurs (or anyone interested in wines) can compare the tastes and better understand the differences. This event is typically an educational moment for wine drinkers. However, taking part in a wine flight can also be fun and provide you with various newfound wine favorites.
History of Wine Flights
Sampling and comparing wines have been around and well-known for years and years. Around the 14th century, people began practicing these wine tasting events. They began using the term ‘Flight tasting’ shortly after, which we now refer to as a wine flight. This event was held in sessions, where people would gather to taste the wines in groups. There is a wide variety of wines to sample. Sometimes they were presented with around 50 wines during the session. The wine tasters based their rates and comparisons on five attributes; smell, savory, taste, swirl, and color. They would decipher the actual color of the wine by placing the wine glasses next to a block of wood, while all the other features were based on tasting the flights. Once the tasting phase finishes, they would record how each wine was depicted.
How To Organize A Wine Flight
Organizing a wine flight is a process that depends entirely on perspective. The best part is that wine tasting events are something that you can arrange and host in the comfort of your own home! Meaning whatever you want to include or however you want to host the event, any options are correct.
Planning a wine flight is quite simple. To start, you’ll need to create your layout and template. This template will be used as a guide to keeping track of which wine is which. Once you’ve established your template, you’ll need to choose the desired wines for the session and place each kind in a labeled circle. If you have a bigger group joining the session, you will need to provide templates for each group and their share of the wines. It would help construct a table or chart to record your thoughts and descriptions on your template.
- One column should be for the descriptions of the taste of the wine.
- Another column should be for descriptions of the wine’s appearance, i.e., color, texture, etc.
- The final column should describe the smell of the wine.
Underneath this table you’ve created, it’s best to leave a chunk of blank space for any extra notes, opinions, or remaining descriptions that don’t fit within the table.
Conducting A Wine Flight Session
Conducting a wine flight is just as easy as planning one is. Once everyone participating has wine and templates, you can begin the session. If you’re unsure how to go about it, you can follow these steps for reference:
- Before tasting, you should start by analyzing the appearance of the wine. For this, you could focus on the color, texture, whether it’s a heavier or lighter consistency, etc. Record your findings on your chart.
- Next, you can analyze the aroma and record the scents you pick up from the wine.
- Now it’s time to give the wine a taste. This is the perfect time to focus on the flavors and whether or not it’s bitter and the texture.
Once you’ve gone through each of these steps, repeat with each remaining wine. Don’t forget to add any additional comments to the section underneath your chart! After you’ve completed the session, you’ll be able to refer back to your chart to see what similarities and differences lie within each wine.
Wine Flight Ideas
Finding wine tasting events is pretty easy as they are popular and often hosted. Participating in wine flight sessions is a great way to understand the differences that similar wines possess. Sampling and recording information about the wines while they’re side-by-side is beneficial due to comparing as you taste each. However, if you cannot find a location or you would instead take part within your home, here are some ideas of similar wines to include:
- Merlot and Cabernet
- Warm Climate and Cold Climate Riesling
- Young and Aged Port Wines (any kind you’d like to include)
- New World and Old World Wines
- Cold Climate and Warm Climate Pinot Noir
- Oaked and Unoaked Chardonnay
- Prosecco and Champagne
Pairing Foods With Wine Flights
Along with finding the perfect wines to include in your wine flight, you may decide to have some appetizers as well. Finger foods especially are prevalent to find wine tasting events. Although the most common snacks for these events are olives and cheese, you can choose to serve any foods you’d like. However, keep in mind that certain wines match better with certain foods. For example:
- Riesling goes best with salads or anything with added spice
- Chardonnay goes best with seafood dishes
- Pinot Noir goes best with vegetables
- Champagne goes best with salty snacks
Wine flights make the perfect little get-together for friends and family, as well as a chance to expand your wine collection. Whether you make it a party or a personal night in, try organizing a wine flight!