how to taste

Tasting helps build that appreciation for wine. Next time you are out and order a glass, don’t just down it. Take a second to get to know your wine and it’s beautiful characteristics. Let’s start with the basics!

step 1: I’m always going to start by examining the bulb of the wine bottle if I can (you don’t have to do this). Is it flat or deep?

step 2: It’s time to uncork the bottle! What does the cork look like when it’s released from the bottle? Is it super wet with sediment or is it dry? What type of cork is it; real, rubber, plastic, screw top?

Fun Fact: I started collecting corks/screw tops a couple years ago and save them in a glass jar on my kitchen window sill.

step 3: Let the wine breath for 20-30 min (if you can) and then pour it into your glass. I know there are specific types of glasses for specific types of wines, but to be honest I’m not sure what they are. Plus I live in New York. Who has that much cabinet space?! My rule of thumb, it doesn’t matter what wine glass style I’m using as long as it’s a clear glass. I have loads of fun and colorful wine glasses (not to mention those $20 a pop anthro glasses <3), but if you are looking to complete a true tasting, make sure you can see what you’re looking at. Hold the wine glass out in front of you, above something white (maybe a napkin), tilting it slightly away from you, and observe the wine. What color is it? How clear is it? Is the color intense?

step 4: Now swirl the wine to open it up. There’s something about swirling and observing the legs (long lines that run down the glass) that is supposed to imply whether the wine will be good or not. I’m not sure I believe it, but after you’re done swirling, shove your nose into the glass and take a couple of short, quick sniffs (like a dog). This helps you register and retain the scents of the wine. Is it clean/not clean? How intense is it? Are there specific aromas that are sticking out to you?

Fun Fact: I used to frequent the Testarossa Winery and at one point learned how to determine how your wine was going to age. It starts with the standard process; swirl, sniff and taste your wine. Then cover the glass with your hand and swirl for 30 seconds. That’s how your wine will smell and taste after 1 year of storage. Try it again but for a full minute this time. Your now smelling 3-5 years of age. I’ve never verified if this was 100% accurate, but it’s a fun party trick and a great fact that has stuck with me for years!

step 5: It’s now time to taste the wine, finally! Bring the glass up to your mouth and take a sip. Don’t swallow right away. Hold it in your mouth for a couple of seconds and then swallow. Is it sweet? What’s the tannin level? How acidic is it? What’s the body like? What flavors are you tasting? How does the wine overall finish?

step 7: Rate your experience. Based off of the rating scale how many of glasses of wine do you give it? Remember 5 full glasses is an earth-shattering glass of wine that you refuse to share while 5 empty glasses are absolute garbage and must be poured down the drain.

❤ happy tasting

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