How do you properly taste wine?
Enjoying great wine isn’t an elitist or esoteric activity, nor is it something that requires any great skill or knowledge. Wine is something that can be enjoyed by everyone and there certainly shouldn’t be any pretension or snobbery about it.
That said, there are some basic steps you can take to help you fully appreciate any wine. This doesn’t need to turn into a comedy sketch featuring elaborate swirling, swilling and gargling. If your partner is cringing with embarrassment you’ve probably taken things a step too far.
What we are offering is simple, common sense advice that will help you enjoy your wine, better understand what you like (and what you don’t), and get maximum value from whatever tipple you are drinking.
The art of smelling wine…
Before you drink the wine, smell it. Taste, flavour and scent are closely linked and smelling the wine will give you an idea of what to expect when you drink it, as well as enhancing the overall experience. Swilling the wine around the glass will make it easier to smell the aromas and is most easily done whilst the glass rests on the table.
Taste wine like an expert
In a world packed with distractions and in which people are almost always busy thinking about three things at once, it’s all too easy to consume any food or drink without actually, truly tasting it at all. No matter what you are eating or drinking, you’ll gain more enjoyment from it if you are actually paying attention to how it tastes, rather than simultaneously doing something else or letting your mind wander.
We’re not saying that drinking wine should be some form of zen-like process, simply that you should make a conscious effort to taste the wine. Be aware of its sweetness or acidity, of its texture and viscosity and how the flavours linger and develop in your mouth after you have swallowed it.
Think, be mindful of the taste
Consciously thinking about the wine should take place throughout the whole process but once the flavour of the wine has vanished from your mouth, take an extra moment to think about it. Did you enjoy it? Did it remind you of anything? Was there something in particular that stood out about it?
Of course, ultimately wine is for drinking and one can overthink things, which isn’t conducive to enjoying the wonderful aromas and flavour compounds that wine has to offer.
However, we believe these simple steps can help even a wine novice get so much more out of drinking wine. Take your time, smell, really taste your drink and above all, enjoy it. Cheers!