Whether you are hosting a tasting or tasting at a winery…these tips will ensure you look and feel like the pro you are!
If hosting, remember that you always start with the lightest and progress to the heaviest. Whites: Sparkling, Roses, light whites and full-bodied whites. Reds: Light to medium bodied to full bodied and followed by a dessert wine.
Before we start, let me tell you about two common mistakes that I see people do while wine tasting…
- Should you rinse your glass with water in between tasting….NO…never add water to your glass in between tastings! This is a very common mistake, and will dilute your wine, can leave a chlorine taste or aroma and can even change the alcohol content.
- Does it matter how you hold your wine glass? YES…you should never hold the glass by the bowl. Always hold by the stem. When you’re pouring, it should already be at the perfect temp so you don’t want to warm it up anymore…not to mention the ugly fingerprints it can leave 😉
- Look: Notice the color of the wine. Hold the glass up to the light (if you can). Why you ask? This can give you the first look at a light, medium, full body wine or it can help you gauge the age of the wine. An older wine will have a more brick-red color rather than a younger wine which is more burgundy
- Swirl: swirl the wine as much as you want…it is a human aerator! You will probably see tears or legs develop which indicates the presence of alcohol.
- Smell: this can be the most intimidating part as there are hundreds of different aromas that can be found. You can become more adept at identifying the aromas the more you do it…I promise…so keep trying! Wine Folly has a great article here around the Science of Aromas. Some types to look for are of course fruit, but also herbs, earthiness (like soil), or different smells from the type of oak it was aged in.
- Sip: the correct way to sip is to swish it around in your mouth a bit prior to swallowing. Hopefully here you can nail down the flavor profile
- Spit/Swallow: I actually don’t think I have ever spit out a wine but if you are tasting a lot, and don’t want to get too drunk, spitting may be the way to go! It is not looked down upon. You are there to enjoy the wine and if this is part of your routine, there is nothing wrong with that.