How To Learn Wine Tasting
Wine tasting is a skill that may seem intimidating at first, but it is something that anyone can learn to do. Wine tasting involves using your senses of sight, smell, and taste to evaluate the various characteristics of a wine. By learning how to taste wine properly, you can discover flavors you never knew existed, and enjoy wine in a whole new way. Here’s how you can learn wine tasting.
Step 1: Learn the Basics
Before you start tasting wine, it’s important to have a basic understanding of wine. Knowing the difference between red, white, rose, sparkling, and fortified wines is essential to enjoying and tasting different wines. Here are some of the basic things you need to know about wine:
• Wine Regions: Each wine region has unique flavors, terroir and climate that affect the taste and style of the wines produced there.
• Wine Varieties: The type of grape variety used to make wine greatly affects the taste, aroma and character of the wine.
• Wine Characteristics: You can discover nuances of wines by looking, smelling and tasting.
• Serving temperature: The temperature at which the wine is served affects the taste, aroma and structure of wine.
Step 2: Look Before You Smell and Taste
What you see before tasting wine can be important. Look at it. Wine can tell you a lot about the wine. Examine the color, clarity, and other unique features of the wine, such as bubbles or viscosity.
• Color: Wine is not just red or white, depending on exposure to oxygen and length of aging, they can range from pale to deep, bright and dark.
• Clarity: Whether crystal clear, brilliantly sparkling, or cloudy, you can learn something from the wine’s clarity.
• Viscosity: The higher the alcohol content, the slower the tears will fall down the inside of the wineglass.
• Aroma: The aroma can reveal much about the wine’s quality, complexity, and aging.
Step 3: Smell the Wine
Once you’ve looked at the wine, take a minute to smell the aromas. Here’s how to smell wine:
• Swirl: Move the glass in small circles or swirls, this will help you to release and increase the scents.
• Sniff: Put your nose to the glass, take a deep breath and inhale aromas.
• Identify: Do you smell fruit, floral, earthy or other aromas?
Step 4: Take a Sip and Taste
Now comes the fun part. Sipping and tasting the wine. As you taste the wine, concentrate on these things:
• Texture: How does the wine feel in your mouth?
• Flavors: What tastes do you notice, such as fruit, spice, or oak?
• Balance: Are the flavors well-balanced or is one overpowering others?
• Finish: How long does the taste linger after you swallow?
Step 5: Practice and Learn
The best way to learn wine tasting is to practice. The more wines you try, the more you’ll learn and develop your taste palate. Here are few tips to keep in mind while practicing:
• Taste a variety of wines: By tasting different types of wine varietals, you will begin to understand how grapes and regions affect the flavor and taste of wine.
• Keep notes: Record your experience in your wine journal, taking note of the region, variety, notes of taste, aroma texture, finish and other observations.
• Attend Tasting Events: Many wine shops and tasting rooms offer tasting events or classes to help you learn and expand your knowledge.
Q. How do I know if the wine is good or not?
A. If you enjoy the wine, then it’s good. One person’s good wine may not be another person’s idea of a good wine.
Q. What’s the best wine for a beginner to start with?
A. It’s always best to start with fresh fruity white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Traminer.
Q. Do I need to be able to taste all flavors in a wine to be able to appreciate it?
A. No, don’t worry too much about detecting all the flavors at first. You will begin to recognize flavors and aromas as you keep practicing your wine tasting.
Q. How much wine should I pour for a tasting?
A. Usually, it’s best to pour about 2 ounces of wine for each person. This is enough to allow for multiple sips and is the standard pour size in most tastings.
Q. Do I need a professional wine glass to taste wine?
A. While using a professional wine glass will enhance your wine tasting experience, you don’t absolutely need a professional wine glass to taste wine. You can use standard wine glasses, as long as they’re clean and clear.
Learning to taste wine may seem daunting at first, but it is a skill that anyone can learn. With a basic understanding of wine, an observant eye, sharp sense of smell, and a few sips later, you can learn to appreciate the nuances of wine taste and flavor. The more you taste different varietals, the more experienced you will become. So, don’t be intimidated to learn wine tasting, trust your senses and keep practicing, and you will become an expert in no time.