With the holidays around the corner, we’re all planning at least one day of wine tasting with our friends and family this month. To prevent you from looking like an amateur, we have compiled some tips to help you taste wine like a pro!
While the flavours that we find in wine, as well as the winemaking process, can be pretty complex, tasting wine can be fairly easy. The secret is to simplify everything you see, smell, and taste. These are the senses that you’ll rely on most during a wine tasting. Stick to what you know! This will result in your tasting the wine properly, and sounding like a pro while doing so.
Wine tasting comes down to three core principles: colour, fragrance, and taste.
We’ve collected information from some of our favourite wine magazines to present to you a guide on how to taste wine like a pro!
Taste Wine Like a Pro: see it
The first thing experts do when tasting wine, is study its colour. Turn your glass at an angle of approximately 45° and investigate the intensity of the colour. Hold your glass into the light to ensure that you can see the colour as well and as clear as possible. More mature white wines tend to gain a bigger intensity in colour, appearing more yellow. Red wines, however, start to lose colour – aged wine will be a brownish, brick red while younger reds usually are shades of purple or crimson.
Taste Wine Like a Pro: smell it
Before trying to sniff the wine, give your glass a swirl. This aerates the wine, allowing the various aromas to be released. Now try to get a whiff of the wine – alternate deep inhalations with short, shallow breaths. Next, ask yourself what it is that you smell: scents are generally categorized under fruity, woody, pungent, floral, spicy, nutty, or chemical.
Fruits in white wine are usually citrus, orchard, or tropical fruits. Red, blue and black fruits are often prevalent in reds.
Taste Wine Like a Pro: drink it
Now, finally, you can take a sip of the wine – this is why you came to the tasting, after all!
Swirl the wine around your mouth to allow it to cover the inside of your mouth as well as your tongue. Now ask yourself what you taste? Is it salty, sour, sweet, or bitter? You want to really focus on the levels of sweetness and acidity in each sip you take. Bitterness is how we measure whether the tannins in the wine. If you can taste a balance of these components, you’ll know that you have found a great wine!
Of course, there are many more secrets and steps behind learning to taste wine like a pro. The above, however, is the ideal beginners’ guide to becoming a wine aficionado! Remember to keep things simple and to focus on tastes and scents that you know. Most importantly, however, is to make sure that you enjoy every wine you drink. Never shy away from your favourite wines, simply because the experts don’t enjoy it!
Start at Home!
Why not start getting used to tasting wine from the safety of your own home? Here are five of our recommendations for the perfect home tasting. Order online today!