How to Taste Wine Properly
Knowing how to taste wine properly is helpful both at home and when you are eating out. It looks fancy and alluring when you do a proper wine tasting, and it will also ensure that you catch any faults in the wine. There are four easy steps involved in a basic wine tasting.
Step 1: Check the Bottle
When the waiter brings the bottle around, and shows it to you. Make sure to check that it is in fact the bottle that you ordered. Another good thing to look at is the vintage. Often restaurants will have multiple vintages from the same supplier. Therefore, check the date on the bottle, to make certain that it matches the vintage you ordered.
Step 2: Observe the Colour
Once the wine is in the glass, take the glass by the stem and tilt it gently to observe the colour. During this step, it is also important to note if there is too much effervescence, or if there is a lot of sediment. However, if the restaurant is very dark this step might be a little useless. If that is the case skip right to the third step.
Step 3: Take a Brief Sniff
After you have surveyed the colour, swirl the glass. Swirling allows the volatile aromas to be released. It is not helpful if you stick your nose into the glass, and inhale for an extended period of time. Your sensory system is only able to perceive about five smells at a time. Therefore, simply swirl the glass gently, bring it up to your nose and inhale for about three seconds or so. During this step make sure to assess if you smell any off aromas in the wine. If you need to take another sniff, move the glass away from your nose before smelling the wine again.
Step 4: Taste and Swish
Next you have to taste the wine. Take a small sip, and swish it around your mouth like mouth wash. Then take a small intake of air, while the wine is still in your mouth. The small intake of air allows you to get a better sense of both aromas and faults. Since, most faults will be evident on the nose, this step is less important than the previous one.