Featured Post: The Basics of Wine Tasting: How to Properly Taste Wine in Five Easy Steps

Jul 25, 13 Featured Post: The Basics of Wine Tasting: How to Properly Taste Wine in Five Easy Steps

You know how to drink wine, but do you really know how to taste it? If you’re a novice wine taster, you may not realise that there is actually a complex process involved in helping you appreciate what you are drinking, and it’s important to master this if you are to demonstrate the right etiquette at those all important wine tasting events.

The main thing to remember, to ensure that you experience the true flavour of a wine, is that you must sip it while paying full attention to your senses of sight, smell, touch and taste. Remember that your taste awareness is restricted to salty, sweet, sour and bitter and that it’s this mixture of smell and taste that allows you to tell the difference between flavours.

There’s more to it than this though, so how do you go about tasting and assessing a glass of wine?

Follow our six basic wine tasting tips below and start tasting like a pro…

1. Holding your wine glass: Did you know that there is a specific way of holding your wine glass? Professional wine tasters hold their glass by the stem and not by its bowl because heat coming from their hands will make the wine warm, which will negatively affect their results.

2. Looking at your wine: Hold the glass by the stem; tilt the glass slightly, pour approximately an inch of wine into it and take a look into it either against a white surface or by holding it up to the light. Check to see if the colour of the wine is clear or cloudy. If it’s dark, this is an indication that the flavour of the wine will be more intense. Younger red wines usually have a bright-raspberry colour, whereas older red wines might have a mahogany to brick-like colour. If the wine has traces of cork or sediment in it or appears brown, this will give you a hint as to how old it is because as wine ages it tends to go brown (a natural sign of oxidation). When looking at white wines, check to see if the colour is amber, pale green, yellow, gold or golden brown. The older the wine the more golden in colour it gets.

3. Swirling: Holding the stem of the wine glass, gently swirl it in tiny circles on a flat surface. Continue for about 10 to 20 seconds in order to let oxygen enter the wine or until you can smell the wines bouquet of aroma. Swirling the wine this way will ventilate the wine and release fumes dispersing from the sides of the glass. This is what you will start to smell.

4. Smell and Sniff: Tip the glass up to your nose and inhale until you smell the aroma of the wine. The aromas will be different depending on how far into the glass your nose goes. You can choose to inhale two or three times, smell using one nostril or by taking one deep sniff. You will notice that the smells are more flowery and fruity at the surface and richer at the bottom of the glass, where it could smell spicy or sweet.

the Wine Sleuth

the Wine Sleuth sippin’…

5. Sipping the wine: After all the seeing, swirling and smelling, it’s now time to take a sip of your wine! On your first sip, slowly let the liquid slurp over your tongue whilst swishing it around to taste the texture of the wine. You will notice that the tip of the tongue will detect any sweetness with the outer sides picking up more salty tastes. The inner sides of the tongue will always sense sour and acidity, leaving the back of the tongue to discover bitterness and/or alcohol.

6. Spitting out the wine: Most professional wine tasters spit out after tasting. This is not necessary, but imagine how tipsy you will be if you are at a wine tasting event where you are sampling lots of bottles!

So there you have it, six simple tips to make you a pro wine taster. Still feel your wine tasting skills are a bit rusty and that you could do with some extra help? Lovemycourse offers lots of wine tasting courses in London or weekend wine tasting courses that are bound to make you into the wine tasting guru you were born to be!



  1. Very nice tips, i like it. Regards, Tanie torebki – Wizytowe

  2. Just desire to say your article is as astounding.
    The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to grab
    your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  3. Very accurate and useful information, thank you for sharing. More people should read your blog about wine tasting etiquette as they go to wine tasting events, such as this one
    http://humblegrapetasting.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/38/ knew

  4. Nice tips, practice makes it perferct trying several wines from the same family again and again helps educate the pallet

  5. Annie J. /

    Thank you! I like your post. I would like to notice that many people don’t know how to hold wine glass! 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.