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Seasonal Sensory Experience: An Approach to Wine Tasting with Peltier Winery

Spring is upon us in our beautiful backyard of Lodi Wine Country, and we are so excited to welcome sunnier days and blue skies after a cold winter. The gorgeous hues of yellow mustard greens in the vineyards and warmer temperatures beckon us outdoors, and what better way to officiate spring than spending the afternoon tasting fantastic Lodi wines?

Lodi prides itself on its approachability to wine tasting – where you can set the pace for your journey on your own terms without any hard and fast rules dictating your tasting style. At any of our wineries and tasting rooms, you will find a smiling face ready to greet you.

If you are interested in visiting Lodi Wine Country this spring and want to prepare for an afternoon of wine tasting but don’t know where to start, look no further! We spoke with Nina and Faryn Schatz of Peltier Winery to explain the art of this sensory experience and how to maximize your visit.

Regardless of your familiarity with wine tasting, read below for some of Nina and Faryn’s tried and true tips for your journey, whether you are a seasoned visitor or embarking on your first trip.

First and foremost, what makes Lodi Wine Country a standout from other wine regions in California?

F&N: Lodi is the most diverse wine-growing region in the country. Warm days coupled with cool nights during the growing season and diversity in soil types allow over 100 varieties to flourish, like our (Peltier Winery) Vermentino and Teroldego. 

But the secret to Lodi’s success in being one of the most exciting wine regions doesn’t just lie in our topography, soil type, or climate. According to Nina and Faryn,

There’s a warm hospitality in Lodi Wine Country. Many of us have been in the industry for generations and work with our families and friends who become family. That sense of community flows through our tasting rooms, and it’s what keeps visitors from all over coming back again and again. 

How would you introduce wine tasting to someone new to the experience?

F&N: Wine is one of life’s pleasures; you don’t need to take it too seriously or have extensive knowledge about wine to enjoy and appreciate it. Find tasting notes and descriptors that speak to you to help guide your choices. There’s no need to be intimidated; be open-minded and curious. Explore different producers, styles, regions, and varieties. You may think you like or dislike a variety and then try it from another producer and find you prefer a different style. Our palates are like our personalities, one of a kind!

Is there a traditional approach to wine tasting?

F&N: Most of us go wine tasting to find wines we enjoy with food and friends. So, while we don’t love the idea of a “right way” to do anything, there are some standard steps to getting the most out of learning and discovering your palate without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. 

It can easily feel daunting to wine taste, as we all might feel self-conscious, wondering if we are experiencing the wine the way one “should” but the truth is that it is all subjective! To make your tasting experience fun, our friends at Peltier Winery gave us an easy rule of thumb,

F&N: Let’s call this a quick guide to wine tasting: 

First swirl, then sniff – swirling coats the sides of the glass and adds oxygen to the wine; both enhance the aromas. This is beneficial because smell affects our taste. 

Next, take a small sip and give yourself a moment to take it all in. Notice the flavors, level of dryness or sweetness, if the wine lingers on your tongue after swallowing or drops off right away, etc. just try to think about a different aspect of the wine with each sip.  

If you are a first-time taster Nina and Faryn recommend letting your senses take control.

F&N: Use tasting notes as a guide to help identify what flavors and mouthfeel you’re experiencing, get curious and ask questions of your tasting room host, and chat with your fellow tasters. Most importantly, ask yourself, “Would I want to drink a glass?” That’s how you know you’ve found a wine for you. 

How would you encourage people to experience Lodi wine at home?

N&F: Don’t overwhelm yourself. Try picking one variety from 2 – 3 producers and taste with wine curious friends. Notice the differences in style, sweetness, oak treatment, etc. Or, if you know a variety you like, for example, a bright, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, try a lesser-known variety that is similar in style, like a light, crisp Vermentino. There’s so much diversity within Lodi when it comes to style and variety. 

With the advice of Nina and Faryn, you won’t go wrong immersing yourself into the sensory experience of wine-tasting, and having fun while doing so!

Be sure to visit Peltier Winery daily from 11 am – 5 pm and create your own Spring Lodi Wine Country itinerary with a complete list of local wineries and tasting rooms available here.

From the teams at Peltier Winery and Visit Lodi, happy tasting!