Wine Tasting Tips Like a Pro

Wine tasting is the inevitable next step when you’re beginning your journey into the amazing world of wine. It is also not as complicated as it may appear. Wine tasting is a way to learn and enhance your appreciation of wines in general.

The important components of wine tasting are the look, smell and taste. This is the easy part, using your basic senses to assess and taste wines. With a little practice you’ll appear like a connoisseur in no time. The sense of smell is one of the most advanced senses humans possess, there are many scents to process.

Compared to tastes which can be limited to just the taste buds however the combination of these two is the real wow factor and what is used to discern the entire flavor profile.

The basic steps to any wine tasting are:

Look

check the clarity and the color of wine poured into a glass. Take a really good look, tilt the glass, you can check the color from side to side, use the background of a table cloth or napkin to get a good idea of the color of the wine you’ve just poured. Examine the color critically, regard the shade, intensity, etc. Once color has been examined check out the clarity of the wine, is see-through, clear or opaque. Is there sediment in your wine? Swirl the wine and take another look.

Smell

After you have sufficiently examined the color and clarity of the wine you’ll need to move onto the smell, our sense of smell is extremely developed when compared to other senses. It is also extremely important when examining or critiquing a glass of wine. The best way to get a sense of the smell of your glass of wine is to swirl the liquid in your glass. Swirling releases the smells and enables you to get an impression of the aromas inherent in your wine selection. Smells in wine can range from fruits, berries or even an oaky aroma.

Taste

The logical next step is to sip the wine, but do not swallow. Allow the wine to roll around your palette and mouth, in the world of sipping and tasting wine there are three stages.

These are known as:

  • Attack Phase – the initial impression of the wine, these initial impressions come from the tannins, sugars, alcohol and acidity of the wine. These four basic elements compose the entire “attack” during a tasting. They should be well-balanced and complement each other, not over power each other.
  • Evolution Phase – the evolution is the actual taste of the wine, it comes into play about midway through the taste. This is often where you’ll hear people discuss the flavor profile of the wine and you’ll be able to discern flavor notes like fruits or spices.
  • Finish – this is the final phase in wine tasting, it means how long the flavor of the wine lasted after you have swallowed, what is the overall impression left by the wine? Aftertaste is important during the finish as well as your overall feeling about what you’ve tasted.

Taking all of these elements of a tasting into account you may want to discuss your impressions or even write down or record them in some way.

This will be especially helpful when you are first starting your wine journey, as you mature you’ll be able to remember these encounters to draw on them for later impressions.

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