Why wine merchants have in-store tastings

If you've ever wondered why wine merchants have in-store tastings, findings presented at the recent 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society could give an idea of why.

Dr Terry E Acree told delegates of how people often perceive flavours not by tasting them, but based on sight or smell.

In particular, white wines such as sauvignon blanc contain a combination of flavours including bell pepper and banana.

But artificially tint them so that they look like red wine, and many people who taste them will claim that they can taste flavours more commonly associated with a cabernet sauvignon than with a sauvignon blanc.

In-store tastings are one way for wine merchants to help customers understand what to look for when taking their first sip of an unfamiliar wine.

When you buy wine online, read the tasting notes for expert guidance on what to expect, and you can be as well prepared as if you had bought the bottle in-store from an independent wine merchant.

In many cases when you buy wine online, you can also find more in-depth notes on where the wine is from, with extra detail about the region, the grape, its flavours and which foods it is best paired with.