If you are new to the wine world or just need a quick review before you head out to a wine tasting then this is for you.
#1 Wine Tasting Tip: clear your head of any judgements or preconceived notions you have about wine tasting and others who taste wine.
It’s not just a snobby hobby. People get into wine for many reasons and for as many types of people there are, you’ll find them all at a wine tasting. Just like any other industry or hobby, an eclectic group of people are drawn to wine.
#2 Wine Tasting Tip: no matter what “level” you’re at, everyone can learn something new.
A true wine enthusiast, whether beginner or advanced, is always ready to learn from an expert in their field, whether that’s the Sommelier, Winemaker, Viticulturist or Master of Wine. Event the experts should be ready to learn from those around them. There’s too much to learn about wine that you can’t possible know everything. No matter how much you’ve already learned, be humble; and if you haven’t learned anything yet, don’t be shy to ask questions. People who are passionate about wine are happy and ready to help you learn and share in their enthusiasm. Now with clear heads let’s get to the fundamentals:
#3 Tasting Tip: The 4 Basic Steps to Tasting Wine
The very basic and most efficient way to remember how to taste wine is by following the 4 S’s:
See (the appearance of the wine)
Swirl (the wine in the glass)
Smell (the aromas of the wine)
Sip (the wine for flavours and texture)
See the wine to get the initial impression. It’s your starting point after the wine is just poured. Part of the whole wine experience is using all of your senses, including sight. Swirl the wine to aerate it and bring the aromas (often referred to as the “bouquet”) out and into the glass. Smell the wine with your nose generously positioned inside the tilted glass. Take note of what you experience on the nose. Finally, Sip the wine, and pull air in through your mouth as you sip for maximum flavour presentation. Think about the flavours and texture of the wine. Consider how it feels and what it tastes like.
#4 Wine Tasting Tip: open your awareness and use all your senses when experiencing the wine
While you are doing this process of sniff, swirl, smell, sip, open your awareness to your sense of smell and taste. Be critical of familiar flavours and aromas; for example, look for subtle flavours and smells like berries, wood, flowers or other types of food like chocolate. Does the smell of a wine remind you of things you smelled before? Does the taste give you a familiar feeling from something in your past? Don’t be restricted by standard flavours either; if you taste wet concrete, or smell a horse stable…that’s totally OK, because wine tasting is 100% personal and it’s about exploring your senses as well as enjoying the vino. Also if the first time you JUST smell WINE that is fine as well. Slowly you will learn to pick out the aromas.
#5 Wine Tasting Tip: keep practicing and keep a record of your wines
It helps to take notes and build a log or journal of the wines you’ve tried. Just Wine offers a free digital cellar for you to do this – so create your account now. The more you taste, the more you’ll see your palate evolve as you learn to hone in your senses – this is the joy of wine tasting. You won’t get it all right away. That’s okay. Keep practicing and keep recording your experiences.
The best part about being a wine enthusiast is you never stop learning!
Want to read more about the basics of wine tasting?
Appearance (White Wine)
Appearance (Red Wine)
Finish & Final Assessment
Recording Your Experience