How to Taste Wine

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How To Taste Wine

By Mark Adams

Mark is the founder of amber crest winery, a professional winemaker, an author and frequent speaker on wine. He teaches wine classes throughout the United States.

Learn how to taste wine from an excerpt in one of my wine books, the Really Fun Wine Book

Follow these steps and you will know how to taste wine like a pro in no time.

Wine Tasting is all about the S’s

Let’s get started by filling your favorite wine glass about 1/3 full with any wine on hand.

S1.  Swirl

Leave the glass setting on the table and hold by the stem.  Gently swirl the glass.  And no, it doesn’t matter which direction you swirl the wine.  But most people seem to swirl clockwise.  I wonder if in Australia, they naturally swirl in the other direction??

Five or Six times around are fine.  This is done because wine tastes better when a little air is mixed in with it.  It actually intensifies the flavors.  Secondly, it creates a little friction, then a little heat, and then finally a little evaporation.

The scent of the wine flows through the nasal passages and you get the best of both worlds, flavor and aroma.

Remember, swirling wine is not an Olympic competition.  Gently swirling wine is all you need to do.

S2.  Sniff The Schnoz is King

If you had the good fortune to be born with a giant honker or a monstrous schnoz, you were born to be a wine taster!  90% of the taste of wine is determined through your nose.

For most people this is the area that creates the most confusion.  When you are starting out and trying to smell the aroma of wine and hear another taster say: I get hints of yadda, yadda, yadda, you think to yourself, it smells like red to me.  Right?  That’s OK.

Recognizing the aromas is really something that takes a little while to get.  We’ll touch on this more in future episodes.  But for now, I just want you to know the process.

Now back to the tasting.  After you have swirled, stick your schnoz into the glass and see what you smell.  With respect to Forrest Gump, wine is also like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.

That’s’s part of the fun.  See what you can recognize.  For white wines some common aromas are citrus, green apple, butter and vanilla.  For reds, cherry, plums and various berry flavors.

S3.  Sip

If we have to talk about this one. We’re in trouble.

==>Click Here for the Really Fun Wine Book Website<==

S4.  Swish

Gently move the wine around you mouth.  Taste buds are different in different areas of your tongue.  For instance, sweets are at the tip.  Sour is on the top and salty is on the sides.  Moving the wine around allows you to get the full range of flavor from your wine.

how to taste wine

Sometimes you see people doing what I call the mouthwash. They do this because they want to aerate their wine and enhance its flavor.

This is when they swish the wine in their mouth like they are using mouthwash. Then sucking air in and out making rather loud and obnoxious sounds.

I don’t know about you, but to me this isn’t the most appealing thing. When you see people do this, you can’t help but laugh.

I know for a fact that the wine police will write you a ticket for this. We definitely don’t want that. Well, I have a better solution.

Try this. Open your mouth slightly and take in a small draw of air and let it go over your tongue. You will get the same results as the “mouthwash” but without the wheezing and gurgling.

One thing though and its rather important. When you do this, make sure you lean your head back slightly. You don’t want the wine to dribble out of the sides of your mouth. And yes, the wine police will write you a ticket for wine dribble.

S5. Swallow

Known as the big finish! It’s literally the taste that wines gives you as it rolls down the back of your throat as you swallow. You get a “Turbo Boost” of flavor as the acidity of the wine, touches the nerve endings in your throat, giving you a tingling sensation. You get the same effect from a coke or pepsi but through the carbonation.

The sensation in wine is so gratifying, that this is how some they rate their wine. They claim that finish can sometimes go on for a couple of minutes. More power to them. But for the mere mortals among us, a few seconds is a more typical time of the finish.

Lets add a Bonus S…Smile

Just think…You’re on your way to being a wine expert, already! You now understand how to taste wine. Whew hoo!!!!!

For even more info click here to learn about wine. Click wine classes to learn about wine by web video.

==>Click Here for the Really Fun Wine Book Website<==