Tasting Wine

  • Pour the wine about a third full into a simple glass that curves inward.

  • Holding the glass by the stem, tip it against a white background.

  • Take a quick sniff (remember, first impressions count the most)

  • Take a mouthful of wine (not too much) and swirl it around your mouth (so every
    tastebud gets a chance to taste it).

  • Professional tasters draw in air at the same time to increase the contact with air and
    give the wine a chance to evolve in the mouth.

  • Spit it out (optional, unless you've got 20 wines to taste!).
General Rules:

    Is it clear or dull? This can tell you if the wine has a fault or not

    White Wines: become deeper (more golden) with age.

    Red Wines: the more purple the wine the younger it is. In young
    wines the colour is usually uniform. The more brown, tawny or
    orange the wine is, the older it is. With age the colour is not
    uniform and is lighter at the rim of the glass compared with the
General Rules:

    Does it smell clean or unclean? This can tell you if the wine is
    corked or not. If corked, it will have a musty smell.

    Does it smell weak or pronounced? This can tell you about the
    wine's origin.The more intense the nose, the more likely that the
    grapes were grown in a hot climate and the level of sugar and
    therefore alcohol is higher.

    What does it smell of? Fruity, Savoury, Dairy, Nutty, Spicy, Mineral,
    Sugary, Woody, Floral, Herbal.
General Rules

    Quality: A good sign of quality is balance. A wine is balanced when
    all of the wine's components (e.g. sweetness, acidity, tannins)
    blend together. The balance or potential to be balanced after
    ageing is a sign of quality.

    Maturity: Older red wines tend to taste more savoury and spicy.
    Older white wines tend to taste more honeyed and yeasty.
    Younger wines tend to taste more of fruit.

    Origin: Hotter countries mean riper grapes and more overtly fruity
    wines (and a higher degree of alcohol).

    Grape Variety: Certain grape varieties taste of certain flavours, e.
    g. Sauvignon Blanc typically tastes and smells of gooseberries,
    Cabernet Sauvignon of blackcurrants.