How to taste wine is not the same as grabbing a cheap bottle and drinking it.  To experience the true and wonderful Experiences and flavors of a wine it requires that you slow down. And you want to  pay attention to all of your senses, sight, smell,and mouth feel.As well as taste.

How ToTaste Wine Like A Pro – Wine Tasting 101

5 steps to successfully experience a wine

Swirl, See, Smell, Sip, Swallow

You know how to drink wine, but do you really know how to experience it? 

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Remember – There are no right or wrong descriptions of how to taste wine and describe its tastes or smells.  Do not rush the tasting experience.  Spend some tome over the wine and experience it, allow the descriptions full access to your mind and enjoy every aspect of it.Have some fun with it and love every minute of it. Try wines from around the world. So how to taste wine is truly enjoy it and experience all its properties

The Basics: How to Taste Wine

Start with a clean clear wine glass. The rim of the glass should slope inwards to allow or funnel aromas to the nose, and allow you to swirl without spilling and making a mess.

how to taste wine

Holding a Wine Glass:

believe it or not there is a right way and a wrong way to hold a wine glass, and it totally does make a difference.  Never hold the glass by its bowl, only by its stem since the warmth of your hand will quickly warm the Fine wine you are tasting.

If you are tasting several wines, begin with the lightest white wines first and progress to the heaviest red wines. This will allow your taste buds to become more sensitive so you can better experience each wine in the series.  A sip of water between wines will clean and  preserve your palate for the next wine experience.
Now pour a small amount of wine into your glass – an inch or less is best and follow the instructions below

how to taste wine

  • Sight:
    Stare into the wine – in daylight if at all possible. The most effective way is to slightly tip the wine in the glass and hold it to the light or look at it against a white or pale background. What is it that you see?  While firmly holding the stem of the wine glass, gently swirl the glass in tiny circles on a flat surface for 10 to 20 seconds. This allows oxygen to penetrate the wine and activate the aromas in the wine and allow you to recive the fullness of them.Is the wine clear or cloudy?  The color will vary according to what type of wine you are tasting
  • Red Wines:  Red wines will have many variables in color.  A young red wine is typically a bright-raspberry color.  You will see slight tints of reddish-brown around the edges.  The more a red wine ages the more it may take on a mahogany to brick-like in color.  As a red wine ages. More vintage or aged wines will take on a deeper brick color.  Some dessert wines and especially those that have been in oak barrels, tend to be a more golden color.
  • White Wines: White wines range from a light green to yellow to deep golden brown. The more a white wine ages it becomes more golden in color.

Gently swirl the wine

How to taste wine in its entirety

While securely holding the stem of the wine glass, gently swirl the glass in small circles on a flat surface for 10 to 20 seconds this allowes oxygen to penetrate the wine and activate the true aromas in the wine.

  • The purpose of swirling wine in a glass is to aerate the wine and release vapors, evaporating from the sides of the glass, for you to smell. As the wine coats the sides of the glass, it releases a gamete of aromas for you to experience.
  • Observe the streaks of wine (legs) as they roll down the side of the glass. The legs can help you determine the body of the wine, see its clarity.

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How to taste wine

Smell or Sniff:

Tilt the glass to you and stick your nose just above the rim of the glass and inhale. Some tasters claim that you can get more aroma by holding your nose an inch or so above the glass after swirling. They think you catch more than you would if you put your nose all the way into the glass. Try both ways to see what works for you. Also, your nose will tire very quickly. Even “off-smells” may not register after a number of sniffs.how to taste wine

Did you know that 80% of our sense of taste is actually found in our nose? The aromas can be quite different depending on how far into the glass your nose goes. What is it that you smell? There is no proper sniffing technique. Some wine connoisseurs prefer to sniff by quickly inhaling two or three times. Others prefer one deep sniff or smelling with one nostril at a time. It is all about what is best for you and your experience.

At the top of the glass, the smells can be more floral and fruity; deeper in the glass, they are richer. Try to detect the full range of scents from berry to floral to spicy to woody … and so on. Consider how the intensity is and does it have appeal to you. remember wine tasting is all about you and your experience, and this may change between connoisseurs.

Sip and Swallow : How to Taste Wine and Experience it

This is the final step and probably the most enjoyable, should be taken only after you’ve used all of your other senses. Finally sip the wine, let the wine spread across the tongue from front to back and side to side before swallowing. allow it to seep into your taste buds’.

If you are in an acceptable doing so, carefully slurp some air through puckered lips. This slurping of air (aerating) will help to release flavor and aromas. Assessing the wine by taste should confirm the conclusions drawn from the appearance assessment and the smell assessment.

how to taste wine

The very tip of the tongue detects sweetness

The inner sides of the tongue detect sourness and/or acidity that is why when you eat something that is acidic the sides of you tongue react.

The outer sides of the tongue detect saltiness

At this point you can either spit out the wine (especially if you are tasting several wines) or simply swallow it, but make sure you take the time to experience the aftertaste (the grand finally). Professional wine tasters will not swallow the wine, but immediately spit it out (you will see buckets for this purpose).


What Different Wine Terms Mean:

Tasting the Sweetness
The first thing you will probably notice is the sweetness of the wine or how dry the wine is.  This is determined by the amount of all natural sugar in the wine.  Higher sugars in the grapes have the potential to produce higher alcohol content creating the dry flavor.

Tasting the Acidity
The next sensation you will notice almost immediately is the tartness or acidity of the wine.  Just think of the difference between grapefruit juice and water. The  acidity, may sound harsh but it is so very important in making wine taste crisp and refreshing.  If there is too much acid, the wine will taste bitter and overly sharp.  If there is not enough acid, the wine will taste dull and flat.

Tasting the Tannin
If you are drinking red wine, you might also notice the tannins in the wine.  Tannin is a chemical that comes from the stalks, pips and skins of red grapes.  It tastes astringent and “mouth-drying”, and makes your mouth “pucker”.  There are many kinds of tannin.  Some tannins taste bitter.  Tannins are most noticeable in young red wines.  Over time, as wine ages, the  tannins will “soften” and give the wine a certain full-bodied heavyness that is very enjoyable.

Tasting for Alcohol content
Alcohol is found in all wine.  A moderate amount of alcohol in wine adds “sweetness” to the taste.  If the alcohol is too high and out of balance with the tannin and fruit, then the wine will feel hot in your mouth and difficult to drink.

Tasting for After Taste
This is the sensation that lingers in your mouth just after swallowing a sip of wine.  Aftertaste is important in wine tasting because it can reveal an extra wonderful attribute or a negative fault.  Sometimes certain flavors become noticeable in the aftertaste, such as chocolate.  A long, pleasant aftertaste, where all the components of the wine are in balance is a sign of a quality fine wine.

Overall Assessment
When the aftertaste has faded, ask yourself what your over all impression of the wine is.  Do you like the taste of it?  Do all the attributes seem to be in balance?  If you think the wine (especially young red wine) is too astringent, consider that it might improve and mellow or “open up” with age.  Or is the wine ready to drink now?  What kinds of food might go nicely with this wine?