So if you are a wine lover like me tasting new wines is a must! When I go to a wine tasting room or out with friends and they want me to try out a new wine I can’t wait, but I do like using the Five Simple Steps of Wine Tasting to give me a better understanding and appreciation of what I am drinking. These rules aren’t set in stone. After scouring the internet I found these five steps were universal, with a few variations, on what Wine Experts and Wine Sommeliers use when tasting a wine for the first time. When you are trying out a new wine it helps to take notes of the aromas, flavors, keep track of the wine name, vintage, grape or grapes, and winery and your Honest Opinion of the wine.
Now if you are at a restaurant or party rummaging through your purse for a pen/pencil and a piece of paper to write down tasting notes and your friends or family are looking at you quite strangely then maybe wait and enjoy the evening. Hopefully, later on, you will get a chance to jot down the name of the wine or ask the host of the party or waiter who served you the bottle for the name and vineyard. That way you can purchase a bottle and do a proper tasting at your own convenience.
Five Simple Steps Of Wine Tasting
First, you need a wine glass because as I mentioned in my other post “Should You Absolutely Only Drink Wine In A Glass?” a wine glass does help the tasting experience. A larger bowled glass is great for red wines and a smaller bowl is great for whites. Pour your wine about 1/3 of the way into the glass. You don’t want to fill it up to the top for a tasting or even when drinking casually because you want the wine to breathe or decant.
Step 1: See/Look At The Color
- See: What is the prominent color? If it’s a red wine do you see reds, purples, pinks, maroon, light, dark? If it’s a White wine: yellows, golden, yellow-green
Step 2: Swirl
- Swirl: Another reason not to pour your wine all the way to the top is that you are going to gently swirl your wine holding the stem of the glass to release the lovely aroma compounds that have been bottled up and ready to explode. Which leads to…
Step 3: Smell/Sniff
- Smell/Sniff: Usually when smelling wine I close my eyes and breathe in and try to focus on the aromas entering my nose. I am not a wine expert and sometimes I’m at a loss of the correct descriptive words to describe what I’m inhaling but I started making a list of words and circle the word that best fits my interpretation. The aromas prepare you for the taste of the deliciousness to come. I definitely used my sniffer when taste testing my Three Apothic Red Wines last week.
Step 4: Sip/Swish
- Sip/Swish: Take a sip and swish it around your tongue and mouth and now pay attention to the flavors you are tasting, the acidity, sweetness/dryness
Step 5: Savor / Swallow
- Finally Savor/Swallow: Again note the flavors and the finish of the wine. Did the taste still linger in your mouth or Did it disappear rather quickly.?
Have Fun Tasting New Wines
Tasting is relatively easy and painless and can be lots of fun especially if you have friends over for a tasting party. The hardest part for me is coming up with descriptive words for the aromas and tastes that I encounter. I do love writing and being descriptive but it’s nice to have something at my side so I can say YES! that’s the word I was looking for. So I’ve started keeping a list of descriptive words at my disposal and when I need them for a tasting I print them out and circle the words that convey what I’m smelling and tasting.
Looking For The Right Words
The Wine Folly Blog which I highly recommend for reading has a cool wine description infographic giving you lots of words to choose from and their meaning. Click below to check it out on their website.
Next time you come across a new bottle of wine or decide to throw your own Wine Tasting Party incorporate these five simple steps of tasting and you will find that learning about the tastes and aromas of different wines will increase your knowledge and palate. Shopping for Wine just got a whole lot better! Let me know how your next Wine Tasting Goes in the comments below!
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Chillin with Carrie
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