Wine Tasting

  • Tasting wine is all about taking time to think about what you are drinking.
  • A few minutes focus on a wine to look at it, smell it and then taste it, enable you to experience all of its nuances and enjoy the complexity of wine entirely.
  • The process of wine tasting involves three important activities:
  • They are logical ways of approaching a wine: by sight, smell and taste.

  1. Look(Observe)
  2. In the glass
    • An opportunity to assess the colour, texture, age and flavor of the wine.
    • Look at the wine in your glass over a piece of paper or clean white table cloth to classify your wine as Red/Rose or white according to its colour. Also study whether the wine is clear or cloudy.

  3. Smell
  4. On the nose
    By smelling the wine in the glass you can unravel the layers of flavor in the wine. Sniff the wine once or twice then swirl the wine in the glass and sniff again. You will notice the release of aromas. The aromas indicate the character of the wine. The aromas may be:
    • Fruit aromas: Can indicate certain grape varieties. Sauvignon Blanc smells like Gooseberry, Cabernet Sauvignon can give Black current aromas.
    • Floral Aromas: Can indicate certain grape varieties like Gewurztraminer (Roses) or Riesling.
    • Spicy Aromas: Can indicate Oak with Vanilla, Cinnamon and pepper.
    • Vegetal Aromas: Can indicate the age and grape varieties like Pinot Noir which has whiff of cabbage.

  5. Taste
  6. On the palate
    Draw the wine into your mouth. Roll it around the mouth and all over the tongue to get the feel of the wine. Draw some air to pass over the taste buds to find the real taste of the wine that you are drinking. The wine may indicate the following:
    • Sweetness: Dry, Medium or Sweet.
    • Fruit character: Fruity, Spicy, Floral and Vegetal.
    • Body: Light, Medium of Full.
    • Others: Tannins, Acidity, Oak.

Testing Tips
  • Make sure that the wine is at the right temperature. If it is too warm or too cold your perceptions of its flavours may be altered.
  • Make sure that you use uncut, clear glass so you can see the wine clearly.
  • Swirl your glass to release the aroma of the wine before you smell it.
  • Taste the wine before you consume any food, to get an untainted perception of its flavours.
  • Start a tasting diary of wine you have enjoyed.
  • Extend your perception of smells by taking note of the smells around you.