Conference Preview: Advanced Tasting Strategies


Today, Tim Gaiser, MS gives us a preview of his upcoming SWE Conference session: “Advanced Tasting Strategies: Cause and Effect and Objective Factors.”

The path to becoming a professional taster is a complex one that requires a great deal of practice, repetition, and focus. In the beginning stages, a student has to memorize a tasting grid, acquire knowledge of common wine faults, and learn the major markers for classic grapes and wines.

Beyond the basics there are two things every student must learn to take their tasting to the next level. The first is the concept of cause and effect; why a given wine looks, smells, tastes, and feels the way it does. Cause and Effect is based on two factors, environment and winemaking technique.  Practically any wine will offer aromas and/or flavors that are directly related to one or both.

The second criteria every student must learn to become a proficient taster can be called “signatures.” These signatures are some two dozen or so elements including pyrazines, rotundone, stem inclusion, botrytis, and terpenes. They come from various sources but must absolutely be learned and memorized by the student in order to consistently identify major grapes and wine styles. In my seminar we’ll use a set of wines to illustrate and focus on both concepts—and help improve olfactory and palate memory in the process.

Tim Gaiser, MS

Tim Gaiser, MS

Tim Gaiser is an internationally renowned wine expert and lecturer, and is one of230 individuals worldwide to ever attain the elite Master Sommelier wine title. Over his 25-plus year career Tim has taught thousands of students in wines and spirits classes at every level as well as developing wine education programs for restaurants, winery schools and wine distributors. He has experience in all phases of the wine industry – online, wholesale, retail, winery, and restaurant – including stints at Heitz Wine Cellars in the Napa Valley and Bix and Cypress Club restaurants in San Francisco, and Virtual Vineyards/the original  Tim has served as the author and lead judge for the Best Young Sommelier Competition and the TopSomm Competition, the two major American sommelier competitions. Considered one of the leading wine tasters and educators, Gaiser was recently featured in the Think like a Genius Wine Master training product, created by the Everyday Genius Institute.

Tim’s Session, “Advanced Tasting Strategies: Cause and Effect and Objective Factors,” will be presented as part of SWE’s 40th Annual Conference (to be held in Washington, DC) on Friday, August 12th at 4:45 pm.

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