Hello everyone!

Here is another question from a newbie.

What does length of the aftertaste depends on? Why some wines fade away as soon as you sip it and some linger on and on?

I may be wrong, but I think that the major factor is distinctive grape quality, a quality that only best growths can produce. If so, which elements of the grapes are responsible? Why some grapes provide long aftertaste in the wine and others don’t? Is it due to phenolic ripeness or something of that kind? I don’t think winemaking technics are involved… Can someone make it clear, please?

One more related question. As for me, length of the aftertaste is a crucial factor in defining wine’s quality. Sometimes at public tastings I prefer to spit. When spitting, I can never sense the aftertaste as full as I do it when I sip. As the result wine’s quality could be underestimated. Is there a way to spit the wine but to sense the aftertaste fully?

I would appreciate your answers greatly. Thanks in advance!
Original Post
The length of the aftertaste depends on a lot of things that nobody really understands completely as far as I know, but one of the major dependencies is you.

If you're still getting flavor, there are still signals going to your brain and that's the first difference between individuals. Second is the taste receptors in your mouth - we taste based on the interaction of the molecules in the food/beverage and our own personal receptors and those also vary between individuals. In addition, you have personal variance depending on what you've eaten, your health, your alertness, etc.

Then you figure out what it is you're picking up. The flavors in wine come from many things - the juice obviously but also what's dissolved in it or carried in it, and in addition to the juice, those things can come from seeds, pits, skins, wood, yeasts, additives, etc.

Then the flavors can also come from the state that the wine is in - maturity, temperature, length of time it's been open, etc. Sometimes wines seem to close up for a while and you don't get much, but after a few years, that changes.

And sure, winemaking can affect everything. Fermented hot or cold, harsh treatment of the skins or gentle, punchdown or pumpover, etc.

Some people think that length is a big part of the wine's rating - Robt Parker has said so for example. But the length doesn't necessarily have anything at all to do with ripeness - Champagne grapes are usually picked under-ripe and good Champagne can have a very long finish.

BTW, I don't think spitting has anything at all to do with it although I've heard people say otherwise. I disagree though and I spit at all tastings - no way can I get through more than a handful of wines otherswise. I've never noticed that my perception of the finish had anything to do with whether I spit or not.
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
The length of the aftertaste depends on a lot of things that nobody really understands completely as far as I know, but one of the major dependencies is you.

If you're still getting flavor, there are still signals going to your brain and that's the first difference between individuals. Second is the taste receptors in your mouth - we taste based on the interaction of the molecules in the food/beverage and our own personal receptors and those also vary between individuals. In addition, you have personal variance depending on what you've eaten, your health, your alertness, etc.

Then you figure out what it is you're picking up. The flavors in wine come from many things - the juice obviously but also what's dissolved in it or carried in it, and in addition to the juice, those things can come from seeds, pits, skins, wood, yeasts, additives, etc.

Then the flavors can also come from the state that the wine is in - maturity, temperature, length of time it's been open, etc. Sometimes wines seem to close up for a while and you don't get much, but after a few years, that changes.

And sure, winemaking can affect everything. Fermented hot or cold, harsh treatment of the skins or gentle, punchdown or pumpover, etc.

Some people think that length is a big part of the wine's rating - Robt Parker has said so for example. But the length doesn't necessarily have anything at all to do with ripeness - Champagne grapes are usually picked under-ripe and good Champagne can have a very long finish.

BTW, I don't think spitting has anything at all to do with it although I've heard people say otherwise. I disagree though and I spit at all tastings - no way can I get through more than a handful of wines otherswise. I've never noticed that my perception of the finish had anything to do with whether I spit or not.


Greg. . . now that's a great response post!
part of it has to do with the various aromatic compounds/ smells the wine has and how long it lingers around that "nasopharynx" area.

one of the reasons why when you have a stuffy nose, some wines don't feel like they "linger" around as long.

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