What is tastevin?

Tastevin, in French taste-vin or tâte-vin (pronounced [ tastəvɛ̃ ]) - translates as “tasting wine”. This is the accessory for evaluating the appearance and bouquet of wine. This ancient attribute of tasters appeared a very long time ago: it was believed that about 300 years before our era, and was used by the ancient Hellenes. Later, it turned to all wine-growing regions. It has gained great popularity in Burgundy, and also the canonical version, as it looks, is precisely Burgundy tastevin. Moreover, it is a symbol of the Burgundian Order of the Knights of Tastevin, an honorary organization that unites connoisseurs of Burgundy wine.

In a nutshell, tastevin is a shallow silver bowl with protrusions and indentations at the bottom, as well as a handle and an emphasis for a thumb, similar to a shallow saucer. Shiny metal, which is silver or silver plated, makes it perfect reflection of white, but provided if the bowl is shallow and the rays reach its bottom.

In their reflected light, it was possible to assess the density of the wine and evaluate its color and transparency even under cellar conditions detected by a dim candle - that is, under normal conditions in which wine is tasted, and choose a healthy wine without defects.

It is important that quite a bit of wine is enough for evaluation: it can be rotated and not only look at it but also allow to evaluate aroma - just like when rotating in a glass. However, today it is believed that too wide bowl will make the wine fizzle out too quickly, so a glass will cope with this better. But in that time the choice was small: there were no glass goblets or they were completely different. So it worked and made it a perception for the taster! Therefore, the silver taste on the chain, which was always set on the chest, was an essential attribute of the cavista or sommelier, as well as the merchant choosing wine, in Middle Ages, even before the invention of electricity. However, it will work with electricity too: tastevin doesn’t even need a white background to consider a tasting sample.

But it is also used by winemakers themselves in order to assess the stage of maturity of wine in the process of its production while a small amount is taken for sampling, but todat it can also be done in a glass goblet.

The arrangement of tastevin is interesting. The classic Burgundy bowl is 8 cm in diameter and 2 cm in depth, and has a large bulge in the center that sets the level of the wine: no higher than its top edge. 14 small round bulges appear around it, which are associated with the rotation of aerated wine, saturating it with oxygen and releasing aromas. In the next row, on the one hand, there are several rounded accents to evaluate the colour of red wine. On the other hand, there are transverse ribs that allow you to see all the shades and reflections of white. This relief allows you to capture and reflect the dim light of the candle under the different angles as much as possible. There is a ritual: to evaluate the white wine tastevin is held by the left hand, and the wine is poured with the right. For red, it is the other way around: tastevin is held by the right hand, and wine is poured with the left.

And in Bordeaux, bulges and indentations are not given such importance: Bordeaux tastevin does not have complex reliefs, and it does not create multiply reflections. It simply reflects light and helps to determine the main thing: the transparency of the wine or not. Opaque, unambiguously taken into account by the defect. It is interesting to remember such thing today.

Liudmila Ladonina, LF-wines.ru

Оригинал: Что такое тастевин