One of the most conversational topics about wine is how to actually taste it properly. Everyone has their own way, but here are five easy and universally accepted steps to help you better appreciate your next glass of wine.
When it comes to sight, you are looking for both color and clarity. Wherever you’re enjoying your glass of wine, simply find a solid background and look through the top of the wine. With whites you are looking for clarity and if it lacks clarity, it’s either been exposed to oxygen or it contains an added element such oak. With reds, a bright, clear, red hue will often indicates it’s young age. A brownish or dark hue will indicate either maturity or a little oxidation.
While this step may come off as snoody, it generates aromas that otherwise would not be as vibrant. This method also creates a sense for the body of the wine as you watch it cascade down the side of the glass.
Immediately following the swirl, place your nose in the glass and takes several short breaths or a long inhalation. This step is extremely important for white wines because the aromatics will help define the taste. With reds, aromatics are important, but you’re trying to focus more so on body and mouthfeel.
And finally, after three long step, we can actually drink the wine. This is where you’re able to determine and pinpoint the flavors of the wine. Rather than simply drinking the wine, try to swirl it around your mouth allowing the wine to coat as many taste buds as possible. Try to focus on the feel of wine such as thick or thin, heavy or light, tannin or no tannin.
What are the lingering impression you get from that wine? Are there notes of chocolate or coffee or oak? Try to focus on the finish of the palate and what that taste reminds you of. Often, this is where the most creative terminology is generated.