Whether you are visiting a winery or going out to eat a steak dinner, it’s important to know the proper way to taste wine. Doing so will allow you to fully enjoy everything the beverage has to offer. Unfortunately, most people have no clue how to taste wine in the correct manner. They simply take a sip from the glass with an expressionless look on their face and then say either yes or no to the waiter.
If this sounds familiar, keep reading and we’ll reveal the dos and don’t s of wine tasting.
Communicate With Your Server/Bartender
Because wines come in so many varieties, you’ll need to talk with your sever to determine which ones they offer. Sure, some establishments may offer you a wine list, but this doesn’t have the same effect as the server’s personal knowledge and experience regarding their wine selection. Ask them what some of their specialty wines are and how old they are. In addition, don’t be afraid to ask your server to bring out samples of various wines for you to try. After all, that’s the only way you’ll know if it’s a good bottle or not.
The first step in tasting wine actually involves looking at it. I know this might sound a little silly, but proper wine tasting starts with the eyes. Once your server brings a glass of wine out to your table, hold it up to the light for a closer inspection. As the light penetrates through, you should be able to tell how cloudy it is. Wineries using poor filtration processes will likely create wine that’s cloudy, murky and generally difficult to see through.
While you are holding your glass of wine up to the light, gently swirl it around a bit so the liquid travels up the side of the glass. If it sticks for a while before falling, this is referred to as “wine with legs.” So, what’s the significance in this? Well, legs are usually an indicator of higher alcohol content, which can be either a good or bad thing.
The second step for tasting wine is to breathe in the aromas through your nose to see how it smells. There are three main elements to wine – taste, aroma and texture, all of which are important during the tasting process. There’s really no wrong or right way to smell a glass of wine. If it’s a red variety, stick your nose down in the glass and breathe in the aromas as you gently rotate the glass. Take note of what aromas you notice as you breathe it in. Depending on how it was made, you may smell cider, apples, roses, strawberries and dozens of other scents.
Tasting the wine is the third and final step. Contrary to what some people may believe, you don’t want to swallow the wine immediately after it enters your mouth. Instead, swish it around a bit and let the wine sit on your tongue. This will allow the flavors to soak into your taste buds so you can get a better understanding of the wine.
Henry Jacobs is content contributor for Wine Refrigertor Now. Henry enjoys writing about wines, new restaurants, and much more. He orders from WineRefrigeratorNow.com to get the best built-in wine refrigerators available today.