Eyeballing wine, swirling, sniffing and swishing ... it may look complicated, but traditional wine-tasting is actually based on common sense.
To learn more about the art of tasting you simply need to sample widely and trust your instincts. However, to get the most out of your wine sampling, here are a few things to follow:
To start: Hold your glass by the stem, rather than by the bowl. Holding the bowl will change the temperature of the wine and cause fingerprints, which distorts the appearance of the wine. Both are integral parts of wine tasting.
Sight: Examine the color. Is it clear, hazy, transparent or opaque?
Smell (called 'Bouquet'): To make the smell more intense, swirl the wine in the glass so that the bowl fills with its bouquet. Does it smell like fruit? Flowers? Wood? Something unexpected?
Taste: First take a small sip, and swish it around your mouth to ‘cleanse your palate”. Swirl your second taste of the wine in your mouth to cover all your taste buds. How does it feel? What does it taste like? As you taste you may draw in a little air so that the flavour goes up into your nose, making the smell and taste sensation a lot stronger.
Aftertaste: What impression comes after you swallow? You might be surprised at the new tastes that are evoked. Take note of how long the flavour stays; this is called the ‘length’ of the wine.
Finally, what is your overall impression? Did YOU enjoy the wine?