1. Choose your wine: Are you more of white or red person?
Feel free to let the wine guide know your preferences in wine before starting the tasting. If you don’t particularly like Cabernet or are a big fan of Chardonnay, just let them know. They’ll guide you from there as to the best varietals to taste.
2. Observe the color
Isn’t it beautiful? Once your wine guide has poured a taste for you, take a moment to admire the color of the wine. You can tell a lot just by the color alone. Generally speaking, a younger red wine will have more of a bright purple to garnet tinge around the edges of the liquid whereas older, aged vintage reds will have deeper brick-colored or crimson hues.
3. Swirl to release the aromas
Hold the glass by its base or “foot” and turn it slowly in one direction on the table. This process is done to help evaluate the “nose” or aromatics found within a wine. By swirling the glass (releasing the aromas) and allowing air to come in contact with the wine (to “breathe”), it will unveil the bouquet and all the wonderful aromas hidden in a wine.
4. Smell the wine
What do you smell? Black fruits like blueberry or blackberry? Floral or tropical scents? There is no wrong answer – tasting is a personal experience. By learning to identify certain aromatic characteristics of wine, you’ll know exactly what varietal (wine grape variety) you’re about to taste.
5. The best moment: tasting the wine!
Sip the wine and simply enjoy the moment! Sometimes what you smelled can be different from what you taste. There’s often a lot happening in the glass—but that’s the complexity (and fun) of tasting wine!
There you have it; the five basic steps to tasting wine. Now from here on out, all you have to do is practice, practice, practice!
Next time: we’ll learn how to open a bottle of wine like a Sommelier.
Happy wine tasting!
.Louise Veron – firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at VinoVisit.com
Originally from Bordeaux (France), I moved to the Napa Valley to work for VinoVisit.com in 2015. I just finished my trilingual Master’s degree in Wine Tourism and International Marketing and graduated with honors. As a real food and wine lover, I’m enjoying exploring the area and relating my discoveries from a very French point of view.