Next (still no tasting),
you swirl the wine inside the glass and coat the sides. Notice
how quickly, or how slowly, the wine filters down after you
stop swirling. As the wine travels down the sides of the glass
in rivulets (called “legs”) you get a sense of the
You then bring the glass to your nose (nope, no tasting yet)
and inhale the aroma of the wine deeply. Notice the first scent
that is apparent to you.
NOW, take a drink
of the wine let it slosh around to bring the wine to all parts
of your mouth and over your tongue. Allow yourself to experience
all of the taste sensations. A technique useful in intensifying
flavor for “interpreting” the wine is to open your
mouth slightly with the wine still in it and breathe air in.
For the last impression,
take notice of is how long the flavor of the wine stays in your
mouth. This is referred to as the "finish" of the
If you’re planning
your own tasting at home, here are a few good ideas for variations:
A Horizontal Tasting - different wines of the same
vintage, or year, are tasted. This is a good way of determining
or vineyard you prefer.
A Vertical Tasting
- the same wine from different vintages, or years. This is where
vintage variations and the effects of bottle aging
are clearly seen. An example would be to compare a 1997 Pinot
Noir to a 2004 Pinot Noir from the same winery.
Disguise the bottles
and have the tasters guess the variety (for reds: cabernet sauvignon,
pinot noir, zinfandel, shiraz, merlot, etc.) based on the aroma,
color, and taste of the wine.
of one variety and region against wines of the same variety,
but different region. (For example: Bordeaux from France compared
to the Cabernets of California or a Shiraz from Australia against
a Syrah from Rhone.)
wines of the same variety
but varying prices, cover the label, taste, and then see if
the reviews reflect the cost of the wine.