How to taste wine
You are at a tasting room and the server pours
a small amount of wine in your glass. Now what? Discover the secrets
and techniques of wine tasting. Following these wine tasting steps
and you will look like a wine tasting pro. Enjoy the beauty of wine while looking a cool as a wine sommelier!
How to taste wine in easy steps
Look at the wine - appearance
Take a look at the color of the wine. Look for the clarity of the
wine and the brilliance of the color. The wines will vary in
their intensity of color. Hold the glass towards the light.
Smell the wine - aroma
Swirl the wine in your glass by rotating your wrist. This takes
a little practice. Most people have trouble at first because they
are moving their entire arm to swirl the glass. The key is in
the wrist. Rotate the wrist while holding the rest of the arm
still. The swirling of the glass releases the wine's aromas to
the top edge of the glass.
Place your nose just over and the edge of the wine glass. Keep
your mouth open. The aromas should bounce off this edge straight
up the nostrils. Take a very deep sniff. Identify any familiar
smells. Repeat, but rest your sense of smell a few seconds before
you smell again.
Taste the wine - character
After smelling the wine it is time to take a sip. Roll it over your
tongue for several seconds before swallowing. Exhale through your
nose as you swallow. Your taste buds and sense of smell will work
On the second sip, try swishing the wine around in the mouth and
then swallow and exhale through your nose. Some tasters “chew”
the wine in the mouth. Try each and see what works best for you.
The aftertaste - finish
Good wines have a long lasting finish. Once you swallow measure
how much the wine lingers in your mouth and nose.
Use the tasting notes supplied by the tasting room as you taste
each wine. Ask your host about the wine and its characteristics.
Developing the skill of wine tasting takes practice. The more wines
you taste, the better you will become with this entire sensory
Check out our page on "Hosting a Wine
Tasting." You will find wine scoring sheets for judging
wine at a wine tasting party.
Check out our chart on "Wine Varietals."
This will give you a brief description of the aromas and tastes
found in the common varietals.
If doing a wine tasting at home, use the correct wine
Here is a very article on the importance and skill of spitting wine. Yes, we do mean spit wine. Why you should spit.
More Wine Tasting Techniques
Andrea Immer has written an outstanding book on tasting wine.
It is called “Great Wine Made Simple.” Her advice is
practical and useful to anyone who wants to learn and enjoy the
experience of tasting good wine. Great Tastes Made Simple
The second recommended book is called the "University Wine
Course." There is a great section on setting up tests to develop
the skills for understanding the various aromas of white and red
wines. The course guides you through placing various foods
in wine glasses and then adding a neutral white or red wine. Then,
one smells each glass attempting to idenitfy the exact aroma. This
a very practical lesson for improving your wine tasting abilities.
It works. The University Wine Course: A Wine Appreciation Text & Self Tutorial