A Wine Tasting may seem daunting at first, but with the four S’s and your personal Wine Consultant at your side to guide you, you’ll be a pro taster in four easy (and fun!) steps. Relax, there is no quiz afterward, and frankly, there are no wrong answers either. So pop the cork, sit back and read on to get started.
Hold your glass up a bit, preferably toward natural light and against a white background. How would you describe the color? Whites can range from almost clear to light yellow to rich gold. Reds can range from pink to purple to almost black. Color can indicate a few things – the varietal, climate where the grapes grew, flavor and age. For example, richly colored white wines are generally sweeter. Dark reds typically come from grapes grown in warm weather. And young wines are clearer than old wines. Unfiltered or mature wines may have some cloudiness, which is perfectly normal and fine to drink.
Gently swirl the wine in your glass to let in more oxygen and to release its aromas and flavors. This is called “volatizing the esters.” Careful not to fill your glass more than a third or you’ll end up sloshing. (And don’t swirl sparkling wines because this can disturb the bubbles.)
Be bold with your sniffing. Close your eyes and stick your nose right into the glass. What do you notice? Describing aroma and bouquet isn’t always easy at first – but there are no wrong answers! Say whatever comes to mind, or jot it down in a wine journal for future reference.
Take a good, medium-sized sip. Don’t swallow right away. Purse your lips and gently roll the wine around in your mouth. If you want, draw in some air across your tongue to bring out the flavors even more. Now you can swallow – or spit. If you want to sample multiple wines but don’t want all that alcohol going to your head, take advantage of our Wine Tasting Receptacle.
Let’s add another S, shall we? If you love the wine you’re tasting, Savor and enjoy it. Your taste buds will thank you.