Follow these four simple steps to wine tasting and you’ll be sipping it like a pro in no time.
Once you know all there is to know about wine tasting, you will understand the difference between a good and bad wine, and you should not send back any wine just because you do not like its taste. You should only send back the ones that do not smell right or taste as like they have been hanging around for more than a couple of days.
Step 1: Evaluate the appearance
The first thing must do is check the color of the wine. How a wine looks can say lot about the quality and the origin of the wine. To check the color of the wine and how it looks, you need to contrast the wine’s color against a white background (the tablecloth or a napkin will do). Tilt your glass slightly and take note of the color and intensity of the wine.
Most red wines that have not been aged have a deep purple color. As red wine ages, it loses that intensity and becomes paler. The color of a red wine will also provides some information about the type of grape used. Pinot Noir, for example, tends to be paler than most other wines.
This color test also works for white wines, whose colors tend to be deeper as they age. The color of white wines from cooler climates are not as bright as those from warmer climates.
After checking the color, give the wine a quick swirl around the glass to check its legs, which is the oily film that hangs around the inside of the glass after the wine is swirled. There is a myth that the longer the legs stay on the side of the glass, the better the quality of the wine. In fact legs are only an indicator of the alcohol content. More legs mean more alcohol content.
Step 2: Check the bouquet
The next thing to check is the smell of the wine, or its bouquet. Give the wine couple of gentle swirl around the glass to expose it more to the air. As the wine settles in the glass, stick your nose into the glass and take a full sniff.
Analise the smells coming up from the glass: Young wines will tend to have fruity smells (raspberry or citrus, for example), while older wines will have a more complex fragrances (earthy aromas like oak or grass).
Don not be shy to smell the wine more than once to see if you like the smell. If you do, most likely it will be a good bottle.
Step 3: Pay attention to the taste
As you begin to taste the wine, be aware of the fact that very little of the actual taste of wine comes from the sensation on your tongue. You’ll pick up more flavor from the wine by moving it around in your mouth and paying special attention to the sensations and tastes in the back of your throat.
When tasting the wine, gentle slurp it to release all its flavors in your mouth to properly enhancing the taste.
As it enters your mouth, think about the weight and body of the wine to see if it is rich and heavy or light and thin. Think about how the taste of the wine changes as it warms up in your mouth. All wines take a few moments to fully develop their flavor once they are out of the bottle, and they will do the same in your mouth.
You should look if there is an alcohol taste (there shouldn’t be one) and the length of time the wine taste stays in your mouth. This length of time is called the finish and some wines can linger for as long as a minute. Also consider the balance of the wine; do any tastes dominate or is this a well-defined bottle?
Generally speaking, the longer the finish, the better the wine.
Finding Wine Flaws
Some flaws are the result of bad winemaking, but others are caused by bad corks or poor storage. If you oder a bottle of wine in a restaurant, you want to be certain that the wine you receive tastes the way it was intended to taste. You can’t always rely on servers in restaurants to notice and replace a wine that is corked. You are ultimately the one who will be asked to approve the bottle. Being able to sniff out common faults, such as a damp, musty smell from a tainted cork called TCA, will certainly make it easier for you to send a wine back.