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Wine has evolved over the years to become a sensory thing just as food has evolved with its taste sensations. We use our five senses to enjoy food and wine in today’s world. Unlike hundreds of years ago, when food and wine were just something to be consumed to stay alive, our world has provided consumers with the ability to smell and appreciate creations.

We use our senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and palette to appreciate all that food and wine have to offer from our perspective. With our eyes we look at the beauty of wine and food. We can see the color and clarity of wine when we feel the characteristics of the wine we like. The straw color of a Chardonnay indicating a buttery wine or the lighter red color of a Pinot Noir indicating less tannin or the shrimp color of a Rose’ pleases our mind through our eyes.

With our ears we hear the sound of a cork while opening a new bottle of wine to hear the babbling of wine as it trickles down the side of a glass to the soft fizz of sparkling wine. sending bubbles to the surface of the wine. Our ears provide an additional pleasure to our mind from the pleasure of wines. Once we pour that first glass of “Nectar of God”, we can smell the components of wine. These elements come out when we swirl the wine in our glass (be careful not to spill it) which aerates the wine and allows the esters and aromatics in the wine to escape into the glass and beyond. Our nose can experience around 4,000 sensations communicating to our mind a myriad of sensations ranging from peach to pear to green apple to black cherry to tobacco to leather to vanilla to a dry desert after a morning rain.

Your nose actually picks up more sensations than you can comprehend. Your palette, that is to say the mouth and the tongue, can only capture five sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory. However, your mouth and nose are so close together that it feels like you are tasting peach when your tongue says sweet and your nose says peach telling your mind PEACH! The foods you eat and accompany your wine are so intertwined between your five-sensory tongue and your thousand-sensory nose that your mind perceives the end product of the combination of food and wine. The final meaning is the touch that is felt at the back of the mouth. Is the wine light with a feeling of a second or two or does it have a heavy feeling where the back of your mouth can smell of wine for a moment, giving your brain a feeling of weight.

We can understand how our senses work with our mind in evaluating and judging wine using the technique of swirling wine in your glass to open esters and aromatics, smelling wine with your nose, sipping wine in your mouth where the tongue and nose can smell the wine simultaneously, then swish that wine into your mouth to open the vino, then smell the wine on your tongue as to its weight while carefully inhaling through the wine on your cupped tongue to exhale through your nose use all our senses in tasting your wine. This is called the five “S” of wine. I hope you enjoy your wine and food more with this understanding.

Texas restaurant serving Texas wine

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse at 5061 Westheimer in Houston proudly serves Llano Estacado Vivano Red Blend. I enjoy the strong, bold taste of this Texas Red Blend, making it one of my favorites. This wine should go perfectly with the excellent steaks of this internationally renowned steakhouse. More and more Texas restaurants are turning to Texas wines for a reason. Local wine pairs well with local foods!

Ron Saikowski can be reached at [email protected]