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Wine connoisseur uncovered: How to taste wine in three easy steps

by , 31 July 2014

You've probably seen a wine expert on television tasting a glass of wine and wondered what he or she was up to. Or perhaps you've been on a wine tour around the Cape and you weren't quite sure how you should taste a glass of wine.

So how should you do it? Where should you start? And what are you looking for?

Read on to find out…

Wine tasting step #1: Have a good look at your glass of wine

Take a good look at the glass of wine. The best way to do this is to hold your wine glass by the stem. Hold the glass to eye level and look closely at the wine.

The first thing you’ll notice is the colour. Of course, your wine will fall into one of three categories:

  • White wine: The colour of white wine ranges from almost clear to gold. Older white wines are generally darker in colour.
  • Rose wine: The colour of rose wine ranges from pink to orange.
  • Red wine: The colour of red wine ranges from light red to dark red or purple.

Wine tasting step #2: Take a good sniff of your glass of wine

You may not know this, but 75% of your taste comes from your sense of smell, the experts at Grape Wine Social explain.

To get the best aroma from the wine, gently swirl it around in the glass. This allows the wine to react with the air and release molecules in the wine.

Then you can get a good sample of the wine’s aroma. The aroma is also known as the nose of the wine or the bouquet.

Try to pinpoint the smells from the wine. For instance, it’s spicy or woody, smells like chocolate or it’s very fruity.

The wine’s aroma will tell you a lot about the grape the wine came from.

Generally speaking, young wines smell fruity. Older wines smell more spicy and woody.

Wine tasting step #3: Taste and savour the wine

Take a decent mouthful of wine and let it swirl in your mouth. This will let your taste buds do their job.

Take note of the initial taste you get. Ask yourself if the wine is:

  • Light or heavy;
  • Sweet, dry or medium; and
  • Smooth or harsh.

Then you can think about the aftertaste. Did the taste of the wine linger for long? What was the overall flavour of the wine like?

So there you have it, how to taste wine in three easy steps.

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Wine connoisseur uncovered: How to taste wine in three easy steps
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