Many sommeliers have several ways of tasting wines. But all agree, each wine should be judged equally using the same repetitive technique. There is no order of operation for tasting wine, but there are a few tips to making your tasting experience more pleasurable. Consistency is key to the primary component in properly judging the color, smell, and taste of a wine. You can also look for the best wine courses and custom wine programs online via SommWine.
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With your eyes, the first thing you'll notice about wine is its beautiful color, which will tell you the wine's history. Color is a huge factor in wine tasting. As wine ages, its color becomes more pronounced. By holding the glass at a 45-degree angle, you can best determine the depth of the color.
The oily residue that goes around the glass is called "legs" and is a combination of sugar and alcohol. Wine with big legs has more alcohol. When drinking red wine, deep, dark colors have more complex aromas and flavors. An exception would be a Pinot, which is lighter in color, but still very complex.
To really taste the wine, sip a small amount and swirl it around in your mouth allowing in air. Getting more air into your mouth helps get more air to the palette and enhance the flavor experience of the wine. Many beginners practice swirling the wine in the mouth with water.
Sipping or spitting is the second most asked question by wine beginners. In the debate of sipping vs. spitting, there is no hard rule. However, if you are sampling many wines, spitting will prevent you from becoming intoxicated, and as an added benefit, you'll remember which wine to buy.