To rinse or not to rinse, that is the question.

I notice that some people rinse their glass with water between tastes of different wines. I see this as a very common practice in winery tasting rooms (and even some off-lines). I have never been a fan, especially with San Diego water. I ususally prime my glass with the next wine or change stems altogether. I was told long ago that water can can change to taste of a wine. While cleaning stems, I have also noticed that water can change the color of leftover wine in a glass (garnet to deep purple).

Recently, I came across this brief article in the mailer from Tablas Creek.
click

What do you think?
Original Post
I personally find drinking water in between wines helps me stay sober

i'll still prime the glass with the next wine anyway

at a proper port tasting though it'll be different glasses per wine in which case the water is still required to help sober up
I never rinse with water. Will shake the glass out prior to the next wine. Seldom do I prime as 'pourers' don't really comprehend the act. At our Club, we use new glasses for each wine. Normally less than 10 tasted. At ABC, Crown etc you are stuck with only one glass. At Total Crap they provoide a dinky plastic thimble, so you don't need to prime or rinse. Not much wine either
Most of the time I rinse my glass before even starting, unless it's straight from the diswasher. You'd be surprised at how many restaurants completely ruin your wine by having glasses with some horrible cabinet or closet flavors. People look at me when I'm sniffing a "clean" and untouched glass, but it's worth it. Maybe 20 percent of the time you pick something up and it's usually nasty. Same from the kitchen cabinet at home - I rinse them if they've been in there more than a day.

If a winemaker "corrected" me for doing so, I'd just as politely tell him to blow it out his blow hole - he's not drinking it, I am. But nobody's ever said anything.

At a mass tasting, it's nearly impossible not to rinse. I can't stand a dirty, grimy glass and after a few dozen wines that you've dumped, and some cheese, etc., the glass gets looking pretty gross. So I do what I did yesterday at the Tre Bicchieri tasting - after every few dozen wines or so, I rinsed with water and shook it out. Even rinsed in the restroom at one point - washing the glass. And no, it doesn't leave a lot of water in the glass - I hold it upside down as I'm moving about, but then I'm not drinking from a gross-looking glass.

Between a few tastes at one table however, I don't rinse. Or at a restaurant when you're only going to have six or seven wines of the same type, unless one happens to be corked or off, in which case I rinse the glass really well or ask for a new one.

I completely understand someone saying he's not going to rinse your glass with his wine however, particularly if it's expensive stuff. I would feel rude asking, esp if someone is pouring something that's $150 a bottle or more.
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:

I completely understand someone saying he's not going to rinse your glass with his wine however, particularly if it's expensive stuff. I would feel rude asking, esp if someone is pouring something that's $150 a bottle or more.


why? I didn't realize he was making the wine for his own enjoyment. a small half oz to coat the glass after a rinse should never be a problem no matter what the juice is.

If yer tryign to sell it to me, don't you want it to be in the best possible light so that I acutally will consider plunking 150$ on some fermented grape juice.

Some of these winemakers just really don't get it.

Now, I've had a few fellow tasters pour a full glass of some juice just to rinse and dump

then pour another full glass take two sips then dump. That is wasteful and unacceptable regardless of price.


Now as a pourer at some events, unfortunately there are indeed some people who just go in with the mindset "I paid 40$ so i'm gonna booze it up all I want"

I don't want to stereotype but they usually have an oz of some other juice they brought over to the table and stick their glasses out asking for another. In that case, I'll force pour water into their glass and hope they dont dump it out completely. Less juice to waste.
quote:
Originally posted by hippomon:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
I personally find drinking water in between wines helps me stay sober


You might want to bring water with you and not use the wine glass for water.


it all comes out the same way my friend.
g-man - pouring at an event where there are hundreds of people, I wouldn't rinse with a great wine for anybody. Doesn't matter whether it's trade or consumer - screw them. If they're that astute, and I can probably count the number of people I know who are, they're not going to be influenced one way or another by the rinse.

If they really are interested, then I'll pour them plenty and we can discuss it. But for some schmuck to show up and put on all of his major airs and claim that he's so delicate he needs a rinse of the specific wine so as not to cloud his judgment - that's just BS. Tanzer doesn't ask for that and he's probably going to move more wine than some guy at some event.

If it's a smaller thing, where I'm showing some buyer, that's different again and you obviously want the wines to show their best. But at big events or probably even tasting rooms - I wouldn't do it for someone and I wouldn't even ask. I taste plenty of wine and if someone who's as bad as I am can get a pretty good idea of what the wine is w/out a rinse of same, then I think most people can.
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
g-man - pouring at an event where there are hundreds of people, I wouldn't rinse with a great wine for anybody. Doesn't matter whether it's trade or consumer - screw them. If they're that astute, and I can probably count the number of people I know who are, they're not going to be influenced one way or another by the rinse.

If they really are interested, then I'll pour them plenty and we can discuss it. But for some schmuck to show up and put on all of his major airs and claim that he's so delicate he needs a rinse of the specific wine so as not to cloud his judgment - that's just BS. Tanzer doesn't ask for that and he's probably going to move more wine than some guy at some event.

If it's a smaller thing, where I'm showing some buyer, that's different again and you obviously want the wines to show their best. But at big events or probably even tasting rooms - I wouldn't do it for someone and I wouldn't even ask. I taste plenty of wine and if someone who's as bad as I am can get a pretty good idea of what the wine is w/out a rinse of same, then I think most people can.


and i've certainly told winemakers "good luck selling yer wine to someone else"

can I taste it without rinsing ? Sure. Do I get disappointed when i come home and open a bottle and it doesn't taste quite what i remembered? Yes.

So when it comes to 100$+ bottles, I always ask for a rinse, and there are certainly enogh 100$+ bottles that I certainly could care less what the pourer or wine maker thinks. Tanzer don't pay me so he can keep his palette too.

to be fair, I dont even bother pouring that great wine when i know it's going to be 1000 people.

I usually keep it on the side when it's quiet and someone really wants to strike pu convo and learn about the other wines.

but if you do pour it with the intention of wanting someone to taste it, then do it right.
I occasionally rinse with water. The residual water definitely changes the flavor and texture of the next wine. This may not always be a negative (I have seen a bit of water bring out flavors of Scotch and Bourbon, so why not wine?), but I'm sure it more often than not does detract from the wine. As already mentioned, the water is not purely neutral, but there are often trace minerals and chemicals in the water which can alter the taste, and the water does significantly dilute the next wine. But the previous wine that was in the glass can also change the flavor of the next wine. So what to do?

One option would be to rinse with water, then season, then take the full pour--and do these steps repeatedly for every wine. At a large tasting, this obviously becomes cumbersome to the point of impossible, so I try to judge what wines would be similar, and go consecutively through a flight without rinsing. Rinse (or hydrate, as mentioned by g-man), then season the glass with the first of the new flight.

Sometimes rinsing is mandatory, especially in the case of a corked or just plain awful wine (remember I frequently taste Michigan wines Big Grin ), and also in the case of a bunch of sediment in my glass. If it doesn't look like I will get a chance to have my glass seasoned, I will try to dry the inside with a napkin, but that has it's downside, too.

If I'm just drinking for pleasure with friends, I will always just take a small pour of the new wine first to swirl around, before taking the full pour. Sometimes that little blended sip can be quite interesting, too!

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