how to taste wine
Pinkies up! Just kidding, you really don't have to drink wine this way, but feel free if is makes you happy! Check out our informative posts on various topics about the wonderful world of wine tasting,
Wines can be complex and confusing; from the aromas and flavor profiles to the color and balance of a wine it can be hard to recognize what type of wine you are drinking Even more so, the aromas in wine can be difficult to identify because wines can have several aromas present. From simple to complex, these descriptive aroma terms should help any wine drinker recognize the aromas in their wine.
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The Three S's
Tasting wine properly is easy to remember with the "Three S" breakdown; See, Smell, Sip.
Looking at wine can provide clues to its character. Note the color and make sure the wine is clear and not cloudy. Swirling the wine in the glass allows you to see the color and density of the wine and also allows you to see the "legs" or "tears" of the wine running back down the glass after swirling. The "legs" of the wine can indicate alcohol and sugar content of the wine. When observing the color or the wine, tilt your glass away from you against a white background (a white table cloth or piece of paper.) In red wines, the red color can range anywhere from a bright red to a dark brick red or a brownish red. White wines can also vary in color; more golden whites usually indicate being aged in oak barrels while lighter whites tend to indicate steel barrels. (see more about wine styles on our Wine Styles page)
Smelling wine is the most important stage of tasting a wine. This is where you get your first impression of the wine before even tasting it by noticing the different aromas present in the glass. First, gently sniff the wine & make note of any aromas present. Hold the glass by its stem and swirl the wine in order to release its aromas and to help the wine aerate or "breathe." Refer to our "Sensory Guide" post for more information on aromas.
Take a sip and roll it around in your mouth, this is also called "chewing" wine. Some people make little slurping sounds when taking their first sip, they aren't just doing this for fun (because it is fun) but it also helps aerate the wine a bit before drinking. Make any notes of acidity, sweetness or toughness, and any lingering flavors.
Cool wine tasting tools:
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