How to Properly Taste Wine

Do you enjoy drinking wine, but feel a little intimidated when you order wine at a restaurant or share wine with wine-knowledgeable friends? Are you confused about how to properly taste wine? You needn’t be. Tasting wine the right way is easy when you get the hang of it. Plus, it not only increases your wine confidence, but allows you to enjoy the full aroma and taste of wine. Here’s how:
1. Use the right glass. Think that one wine glass will suffice for any wine? Think again. The proper glass enhances the flavor of the wine. At minimum, you should have three styles of glasses: a clear, stemmed glass with a narrow rim for white wines; a clear, stemmed glass with a bowl and a wide rim for red wines; and a flute for sparkling wines. Remember, too, to hold the glass by the stem so that the warmth of your hand doesn’t change the temperature of the wine.
2. Fill the glass less than half full. Filling the wine glass no more than half full isn’t being stingy with the wine; it’s allowing the drinker to enjoy the full scent (called “bouquet” in wine circles) of the wine.
3. Look at the wine. The color of the wine can tell you a lot about what to expect from the taste. Notice more than just red or white. Is the red wine maroon, ruby, brownish-red or burgundy? Is the white wine pale, straw-colored, yellow or even light green? Look also at how clear or opaque the wine is and whether the liquid clings to the sides of the glass as you move the wine around.
4. Smell the wine. Next, swirl the wine gently in the glass for about 10 seconds, bring the glass under your nose and inhale deeply. What do you smell? Think beyond berries. Wine aromas can include hints of such things as leather, oak, melons and vanilla.
5. Sip the wine. Finally, put the glass to your lips and take a small sip of the wine. Roll the wine around in your mouth before swallowing to allow the flavors to fully develop. Follow with a slightly larger sip and hold the wine in your mouth again for several seconds.
So, stop feeling you don’t know anything about wine. Follow these five steps and not only will you gain more enjoyment from tasting wines, but your wine friends may just start turning to you for advice.