Wino 101: How to taste wine like a pro (part 1)

There are 4 main components that you must consider when tasting a wine:

Part 1. The overall visual appearance of the wine,

Part 2. The wine’s scent,

Part 3. The wine’s taste and,

Part 4. The texture or feel of the wine in your mouth.

I will guide you through these 4 components so that you can hopefully get more out of your next bottle of wine!

For this post we will start off with the overall appearance of the wine. This is done by pouring a small amount of wine into your glass (make sure it is under half a glass, preferably even less than a third so that you’ll be able to tilt the glass for part 1 and be able to swirl it for when you move on to part 2).

The things you should note are:

1. The clarity of the wine – this step is quite simple, is the wine clear or is there something in it causing it to have a murky or sedimentary appearance?

2. The colour of the wine – look at it from different angles, tilt the glass, hold it up to the light, try and hold it against a white background (say a piece of paper) to see the wine’s true colour – go nuts really try and get a good look at the wine. Try to focus on the wine at the edge/rim of the glass and the wine in the centre of the bowl of the glass to see how the wine differs with regards to the depth of the wine in the glass.

Things to consider:

a) For white wines: look at how dark the wine is – ranges from clear with a yellow/green tinge to a deep golden yellow.

b) For red wines: look at how light the wine is – ranges from deep to light shades of purple,black and/or blue.

c) And lastly, look at the colour of the wine itself – what do you see?

Note: The wine shown above is the 2012 Plantagenet Riesling that I tasted and reviewed last night (review here). From the light colouring of the wine it is easy to tell that it is a young wine. The wine shows up much more yellow in the pictures than it does in real life (possibly due to lighting). For me the wine has a slight yellow/green tinge which is common for Rieslings, Sauvignon Blanc’s and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc’s.

Hope This has helped you and look out for part 2 in next Tuesday’s Wino101 post. Feel Free to leave me feedback in the form of a comment at the bottom of this blog post, a tweet on Twitter, or a comment on my Facebook page.

Until next time!


2 thoughts on “Wino 101: How to taste wine like a pro (part 1)

  1. Great article! One of the things I also look for is the alcohol content. The way I evaluate it is when I exhale after I swallow. If I feel a bit of a “sting”, it’s usually due to higher than expected alcohol content. The sting may also be noticeable in your nose when you first smell the wine, as well.


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