How to Taste Wine

One of the most important things about wine is winetasting and making sure that you like the wine and that you get the most out of the experience.  If wine experience intimidates you, then remain calm and drink…and keep drinking it.  Trust me after a few glasses; everyone’s snobbery goes away!  Above all, remember winetasting is a way to experience and to honor the months or even years in the winemaking process.  Winetasting is a way to explore the world and create awareness of our senses.  It is also a way to engage in conversation between the wine taste and pourer. 


Wine tasting can be accomplished in the following five steps:


·      Sight:  Observe the wine; is there unwanted cork in the liquid? Do you observe sediments? How does the liquid appear in the light and in a white background? Is it clear or cloudy?  A small amount of sediment and cork is acceptable, but when in doubt ask the wine pourer or wine educator.

·      Swirl:  Swirling the wine allows the bottled aromas to surface, while oxygen makes contact with the wine.  This leads to the next step, smelling.

·      Smell:  Smell the wine, and describe smells being released by the wine.  Do you smell fruits, vegetables, flowers, or potential defects such as sour milk smell?

·      Sip:  Now taste the wine, what do you taste with your palate...fruits, vegetables, flowers.  You should only be able to detect sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. Sip small amounts and allow the liquid to sit in your mouth while describing the taste.

·      Savor:  Keep sipping the wine until you get an overall impression of the smell, taste, texture and presentation of the wine…now keep enjoying that wine!


The five steps should allow you to taste wine while both learning and enjoying the experience.  In time, wine tasting will become more enjoyable as your brain has a large repertoire of aromas and tastes.  In the meantime, shoot me a note with your wine questions. 

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