Wine Tasting 101
So...what is a 'Wine Tasting' really? That may sound like a dumb question but some people don't know. Whether you have or have not attended a wine tasting event, this is for you. Get ready to LOOK, SWIRL, SNIFF, AND SIP!!!!
Wine Tasting Tips
A Wine Tasting is an event designed to give the wine enthusiast (or one in the making) the opportunity to try various types of wines and appreciate the differences. There is no formal education required to attend a wine tasting however, you should be open to try wines you've never heard of before or wines you think you may not like. Anyone can taste wine, all you need is a glass of wine and your brain.
5 Steps to Wine Tasting:
(1) Look: Get a visual inspection of the wine under neutral lighting. Check out the color, opacity, and viscosity.
(2) Swirl: Give your glass a swirl or two. Do this on a flat surface if you are not experienced or you may be wearing your glass of wine instead of tasting it :-). The act of swirling wine actually increases the number of aroma compounds that are released into the air by adding oxygen. The smell becomes more pronounced the taste more robust.
(3) Sniff: Try to identify the aromas within the wine as you stick your nose in the glass and take a few deep inhalations. It looks really weird but it's very satisfying.
(4) Sip: Assess both the taste structure (sour, bitter, sweet) and flavors covering your tongue and palate. It's okay to spit the wine in a bucket if one is provided. This is not an offensive gesture. Some people do it because they want to taste the wine but not ingest it. Others do it to cover their tongue and palate once and then get another mouth full to thoroughly enjoy the complex flavors. Either way is totally acceptable.
(5) Think/Conclude/Take Notes: Develop a complete profile of the wines you like and the ones you don't so you can talk to others about them. No wine is "nasty"! It may just not be one you prefer. Everyone has totally different palates and preferences. Comparing different wines in the same setting will help you improve your palate faster, and it also makes wine aromas more obvious.
Don't be afraid to attend a wine tasting. Following these simple tips will help you get more out of the wine tasting event! You can learn even more by watching others during the wine tasting and you can learn more of the lingo. You may make new friends who share a common interest with you or you may just have a night out to socialize and have fun. Above all else HAVE FUN!!!!