Pouring a glass of wine and tasting it is easy, but being able to identify a wine’s style and story from a single sip takes you to a whole new level of appreciation. If you’re curious about understanding the wine in your glass better, our guide to tasting wine like a pro is for you!
Professional wine tasting is a refined skill that takes time and practice to develop. Sommeliers train for years to hone their craft and follow a specific set of steps when analysing wine. To maximise their chances of picking up on every little nuance and note in a wine, they even avoid pungent food and drink in the half hour before conducting the tasting and ensure the room is free of overpowering perfumes and cleaning products.
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to taste wine like a pro, so you can do your best sommelier impression at our next wine tasting event! Before diving in, make sure you’ve avoided food and drink for a while so you don’t detect notes of your lunch!
The first step in a professional wine tasting is to check the wine’s appearance. Pour a small amount of wine into a glass and hold it against a plain, white surface to assess the colour and clarity. While tilting the glass at an angle away from you, you’ll be able to easily see the clarity of the wine and density of its colour.
The second step is to assess the aromas, or “the nose.” Swirl the wine in the glass to encourage the aromas to jump out. Bring the glass right up to your nose and give it a quick sniff. You’ll also be able to get an idea of the style of wine and even where it’s from by the notes you’re smelling in the glass.
Next up is the all-important tasting. Take a small sip of the wine, allowing a little air to enter your mouth at the same time. Swill the wine around for a few seconds and let it completely coat your mouth so you can assess the wine’s body and balance of flavours. You’ll also be able to tell how dry or sweet it is, which will give you an idea of how the wine was made.
To assess acidity, there’s a little trick you can do. After tasting the wine, tilt your head forward to see how much saliva rushes to the front of your mouth. A mouth-watering sensation indicates that the wine is acidic.
By following these steps, you can taste wine like a pro and develop a deeper understanding of wine characteristics. You’ll be able to tap into the full range of aromas and flavours that come through when drinking wine, making every glass a truly enjoyable experience!
Let us know how you get on the next time you taste your favourite bottle!
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