How to Taste Wine
Look Like an Expert During Your Next Winery Visit
Within the next five minutes, you’re going to learn how to taste wine like a (semi) pro.
So many people who come into the winery tell us they don’t know how to taste wine. It can seem intimidating or pretentious but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, there are people who study for years to become sommeliers or wine judges, but for most people wine tasting is simply a fun experience.
We’re going to show you how to taste wine so you enjoy your next winery visit even more and maybe even impress your friends a bit.
Consider this your non-snob’s guide to tasting wine like a snob.
Wine Tasting Made Easy
An easy way to remember the wine tasting steps is just to work down your face from eyes, to nose, to mouth. We’re going to see, smell, then savor the wine.
Examining A Wine’s Appearance
The first thing you want to do is take a good look at your wine. It’s best to do this in natural light so you can see the wine’s true colors. Placing a white napkin behind the glass will help you examine the wine color more closely.
Evaluating Red Wine
Red wine should have a deep red or purplish hue. Pay attention to the edge of the wine. If the border looks brown or rusty, the wine could be bad.
Evaluating White Wine
White wine should have a golden straw color. If it’s too clear, it might have too many added sulfites. On the flip side, if your white wine looks hazy, it might have a protein haze, which means the wine is unstable.
Examining A Wine’s Scent
Next, we travel down from our eyes to our noses. We believe this is the most important part of the whole wine tasting process because 85 percent of what you perceive as taste comes from scent.
Gently swirl the wine in the glass to aerate it. This will release the bouquet. In simple terms, that means it brings out the wine’s aromas. You can learn a bit more about that on our YouTube channel.
Stick your nose right in the glass (Don’t worry about looking funny. This is fun!) and take a deep breath in. Hold it in for a moment and then exhale through your mouth.
Depending on the variety you’re trying, you may pick up notes of anything from flowers to tobacco.
If the wine burns your nose or eyes, it may have too many sulfites. If it smells like a musty basement, it may be “corked.” Any wine that doesn’t pass the nose test, shouldn’t pass your mouth. If you don’t like the smell, you won’t like the taste. Feel free to dump your sample into a spittoon.
Examining A Wine’s Flavor
Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for, the wine taste test!
After you sip the wine, move it around in your mouth. Give all your taste buds a good chance to test it and feel the balance of flavors.
Everyone will interpret flavors differently. On average, women have more tastebuds than men. So they tend to be more sensitive to bitter tastes.
Enjoy Your New Wine Tasting Skills
After you try tasting wine this way a few times, you will have a better idea of what you like and why.
While experts can come up with wine scores and judgments, the bottom line is that you like what you like. Don’t worry about what wines other people say you should like. We believe you’ll have more fun visiting wineries if you embrace what you like instead of what “the experts” might say.
You can try out your new skills on your next Pocono Wine Tour. There are nine family owned wineries along the Pocono Wine Trail, so you’ll have many opportunities to try out your new wine tasting skills!
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