Wine Tasting Like a Professional

Wine Tasting Like a Professional

It’s easy to taste-test wine like a pro. People have been tasting wine for many years and making money as wine tasters for quite a few, as well. What do professional wine tasters know that you don’t? When it comes to tasting wine and knowing how to evaluate it for its qualities and noticing its faults, you’ll find it isn’t all that difficult. Professional wine tasters will have a better understanding of the history of the wine, the grape, and the chemistry behind it all but knowing those things won’t necessarily make you a better taster.

The first step is how to look at a glass of wine. Sounds silly, right? What’s there to see? Well, the color of a wine can tell you a lot about it. Hold the glass out and tilt it a little bit. Hold it over a white surface to really notice the depth of color from the rim to the center of the glass. For an example of how this works, we’ll use a Bordeaux wine. This wine should be dark, displaying the depth of color from rim to center. It can feature purple or dark blue and often times has shiny accents. Deeper and richer colors let you know that it is a concentrated wine. Young wines that lack good color are lighter, less ripe, and more acidic.

Now you are going to swirl, smell, and sniff the wine. Sniff more than once and keep your mouth slightly open when inhaling and exhaling the scents. This will allow you to pick up on more aromatic complexities in your wine. Really, there is no right or wrong way to smell a wine. Do what works best for you. Some people will inhale deeply while others will take small, short sniffs. Generally speaking, if a wine smells good, it is sound. Nosing what you smell in wine can tell you a lot about its character. When looking at wines from Bordeaux varietals, scents of dark fruit such as blackberries and plum tell you the wine is made from ripe berries. The darker the fruits, the riper the wine and the higher level of sugar and alcohol.

Tasting the wine is the best part! Noticing not just the taste but the texture is important here. Make sure you taste each wine at its own correct temperature and from a good wine glass.


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