food and beverage underground

Tasting Wine - How To

Tasting wine can be enjoyable and can boost your wine sales by the wine knowledge you will gain by paying
attention to the details. By following a few basic rules while tasting you will be able to guide your guests into making informed and enjoyable decisions. While most experts, and magazines are very quick to point out the “great” wines, by understanding the basics will help casual wine drinkers find that right bottle for every budget.

With practice, one can gain the confidence in matching the right bottle with certain foods and different occasions. When I started in the wine business, when I went out to dinner, I would try different varietals, regions to begin my quest in understanding.By using the five simple steps to tasting wine, you can begin your appreciation of the different nuances of wines. Remember when you have a glass of wine at dinner, or just as an aperitif, make sure you are paying attention to the details. Make dinner a wine tasting event.

Tasting Wine With Your Eyes;

Tasting wine with your eyes; As you pour the wine, pay attention to the color and the clarity of the wine. The color of the wine will give you an indication of the grape varietal, or at least an idea of the intensity of wine. The darker the wine the more intense, and just like the light hue of Pinot Grigio, will be light and mild. By tilting the wine glass, and looking at the rim of the wine can help you with the age of the wine. Red wines lose their color, and whites get darker with age.

Swirl the Wine

While swirling may look snobby, unless you are at a wine tasting, this process allows the wine to breathe, making it easier to detect the specific aromas and flavors. The best way to achieve swirling without getting it all over yourself, is to grab the wine glass by its stem and make circular motions. Hint; it is best to start by resting the glass on the table. While the “legs”, those rivulets of liquid streaming back down the glass after you have swirled, won’t tell you much about the quality of wine. Legs will tell you about the body of the wine. The thicker the leg, the fuller the body, and the higher the alcohol content in the wine.

Tasting Wine With Smell

When sniffing the wine will give you clues about the type of varietal. Because our sense of smell is greater than our sense of taste, this is where you really want to pay attention. I can’t tell you how many times at a wine tasting someone has said, “I don’t know what I am smelling or tasting?” Just close your eyes and let your mind wonder and think of the first thing that comes to your mind. It might be your grandmother’s apple pie, or the smell of her cedar closet. These memories are what will help you in determining the smells. Everyone has a different vocabulary when it comes to tasting, some people are familiar with boysenberry, and others with blueberries. So don’t be shy, think and speak, there isn’t a wrong answer!! Also, the nose of a wine can give off vinegar-like smells, musty, corky wines telling us they are past their prime.

Tasting Wine

Finally. While taking a generous sip of the wine, allow it to roll around your mouth (Please don’t gargle) try to consider the different fruits and flowers, maybe spices your experiencing. Pay attention to the mouth feel of the wine; Full, medium or Light. I like to describe the differences in body of how milk feels in your mouth; light bodied similar to skim milk, medium similar to whole milk, and full bodied like heavy cream.


At last! Swallow and relish on your great new experience. Some of the really good wines will have a long pleasant finish.

From Tasting Wine to Burgundy Wine

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