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

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 together.

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 process.

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 glasses.

Here is a very article on the importance and skill of spitting wine. Yes, we do mean spit wine. Why you should spit.