how to taste wine

Have you ever been out to dinner when someone describes the flavors of wine and you are wondering how they may have gotten there? Here are some useful tips to help you understand and describe the wine you are sipping on to impress your friends!

1. Look at the wine

Check out the color of the wine, are you able to see through the wine when looking at it? Look for the viscosity of the wine also. Viscosity is a fancy word for the legs of the wine.

2. Smell the wine

When smelling the wine think in big ideas to small idea. For example, smell the dark, red berries in the Chianti but you do not have to try and pin point the specific cherry or raspberry smell. This helps to not get frustrated. If you are feeling fancy, give the wine a swirl before taking a sniff.

3. Taste the wine

Take a sip of the wine and let it stand in your mouth for a few seconds. What do you taste? Bitterness? Sweetness? Did it change when you swallowed vs when it was in your mouth? What about the texture of the wine – did the wine dry out your tongue? If so, you are detecting tannins.

Now, how long does the flavor of the wine stay in your mouth? If you lose the flavor of the wine almost immediately, it has a short length or finish. If you feel like you are still experiencing the flavor and tannins after a little while, the wine has a long finish. Continue to take sips of the wine since wines can change after the bottle has been opened for a bit.

4. What did you think of the wine?

Wine is all about preference. One may love the tobacco flavors and the tannins in a wine, while someone else may prefer a wine that has sweeter notes. Try to think about the wine – did you feel that the wine had too much acid? Too much alcohol (burning in the throat)? Too tannic?

The more times you go through these steps when tasting wine, the more comfortable you will feel. And as always, if you have any questions on the wine you are drinking – Spuntino is happy to help!