Wine can be a complicated subject, and it is easy to get intimidated by its many aspects. Whether you are new to wine or have been enjoying it for awhile, these tips on tasting can help you to enjoy your wine on a deeper level. When tasting wine, you can bring all your senses into play, so relax and take these four steps to enjoying wine like a pro.
Four steps to tasting wine like a pro
Sight: Look at the color of the wine and the beauty of it in the glass. Hold it up to the light and tip the glass slightly to the side to see how the color tapers to the end. White wines range in color from pale greenish-yellow to brown, and red wines range from bright purple to brown. Factors like a wine’s age, variety and aging process (wood or stainless steel) will determine the deepness of its color.
Smell: Swirl the glass to get air flowing through it and release the scent of the wine. Smell the wine at least three times. The first smell will probably yield general information and the alcohol of the wine may get in the way, but by the third smell you should be able to pick out more complex scents in the wine. What do the scents in the wine bring to mind? You will often find it is easy to pick out scents like flowers, berries, apples, citrus fruit and vanilla. Try to enjoy the scents individually.
Taste: Take a sip of the wine and hold it in your mouth for at least 5 seconds, allowing it to coat all of your taste buds. What are your first impressions? Do you like it? What do you like about it? Do you hate it? What do you hate about it? Drink the wine slowly and think about the various flavors that you are experiencing. At first, you will be able to taste if the wine is sweet or acidic and then you will be able to perceive the flavors that the fruit of the wine are producing. How is the aftertaste of the wine? Is it pleasant? Do you want to drink more? The aftertaste of the wine will also affect how well it pairs with food. Imagine if the wine will taste good with certain foods or if it is better enjoyed alone.
Sound: Wine tasting is best enjoyed with friends. Get a group together and enjoy the sight, smell and taste of the wine together. Talk about the different scents and tastes that you are experiencing. Nothing brings to life a great story like tasting wine with friends.