All you need to Know to Give Wine Tasting a Go

Want to be more confident in your wine-related conversations? Would you like to learn how to select a “good wine”? You are not the only one – I’m here to help.

We all enjoy wine, but we don’t really appreciate its complexity. Many people are nervous when discussing wine, fearing they might say something wrong.

There is no wrong or right way to appreciate wine. However, the better you understand and know about wine, the more wine tasting you will enjoy.

Here are some of my best tips to help you get started with wine tasting.

Appearance, smell, and mouthfeel

All the senses are involved in wine appreciation.

Wine critics and judges will evaluate the wine’s appearance, taste, aroma, or “mouthfeel.” Anyone who has heard a sparkling wine bottle pop has experienced the sound.

Check to make sure the wine is free of any solids. Corina Rainer/Unsplash

Wine should be crystal clear, without any solids or haziness (although some “natural” wines may contain some haziness from yeast residue).

Color is important as well. Young white wines should have a pale yellow color or “straw,” while young reds may have purple tones. A young wine with brown tinges may have been spoiled, possibly due to improper storage.

Many different aroma compounds contribute to the smell. The word “aroma,” which refers to smells that come from grapes, is used for the aromas produced by the winemaking process.

A good wine is not simple. It should be full of interesting aromas. Wine should not smell bad or have an off-putting smell, as it can indicate that the wine is spoiled. It would help if you were tempted to taste a wine by its smell.

The barrelling process can impart oaky flavors and aromas to wines. Dan-Cristian Paduret/Unsplash

You can taste different wines, from those that are dry (without sugar) to sweeter ones, to sparkling, or even some with a higher alcohol content (ethanol). Be sure to taste the wine and note its acidity. Also, if it has a bitter or astringent flavor, this is the tannins.

The grapes and winemaking processes have different flavors.

All of these components are important to the mouthfeel and balance of a wine. No one component should dominate the other.

Read more: Australians are embracing ‘mindful drinking’ — and the alcohol industry is also getting sober curious.

How to taste

Three main steps are taken to improve the wine-tasting experience.

Clean wine glasses that can hold at least 100mL of wine with space to swirl are best. The wine should not be too cold or hot. The room temperature is ideal.

Step 1. Look

Does it have any bronzing? Is it bronzing at all? When it is not sparkling, does it still have bubbles?

Step 2: Smell

Pour wine into the glass by swirling it. This will help release aroma compounds. Take a deep breath and put your nose into the glass. Does it smell nice? Does it smell good? Are you able to smell the fruity and floral aromas of the grapes? What about oaky or yeasty smells?

Step 3: taste

You can also move the liquid around your mouth by taking a large sip. You can taste the grape flavors and acidity, as well as warmth, viscosity, or oiliness. You can also suck air through your teeth to release aroma compounds that will then travel to your nose and help you to taste and smell wine better.

Does the wine have a complex taste? The wine’s taste should last a long time or quickly disappear from your mouth.

When tasting wine, it is useful to have tools like aroma wheels and taste guides on hand. These provide suggestions for descriptors. It is useful to record your thoughts in a diary.

How to Appreciate

Talking about wine is the best way to appreciate it/ Kelsey Chance/Unsplash.

Talking about wine is the best way to appreciate it and enjoy it truly. Wine can be enjoyed with friends or local wine enthusiasts. Compare wines by tasting them side-by-side.

Wine critics review wines online and in print, and many larger wine retailers also offer wine reviews. You can also visit wineries to talk with the staff at the cellar door or winemakers. Talking to others is very helpful as it helps to develop your “wine language.”

Take into account the wine’s appearance, taste, and aroma before deciding on the overall impression. Nobody is right or wrong – it’s your opinion. You have found the right wine if you are willing to try it again or drink another glass.

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