Wine Tasting Technique in 5 easy steps
Now its time to discover how the professionals taste. Pour yourself a glass of wine and learn how to analyze wine like a pro. We suggest the Voyage de Lanessan, because it is delicious.
The 5S Wine Tasting Approach
The Top Down approach. It starts with the eyes and sight.
The color of a wine can give you a lot of information, including climate, age, varietal, and whether it was aged in wood.
- White wine gets darker as it ages.
- Red wine gets lighter as it ages.
Swirling 'aerates' the wine and makes more aromas and flavors come out. Basically, it makes the wine taste more delicious.
Sniff - "FEW-O"
When you think about a wine - think about the FRUIT, EARTH, WOOD, and OTHER scents in your wine (and the acronym FEW-O). Use our awesome wine aroma periodic table to figure out what you are smelling.
Don't forget that 90% of taste is smell - so really think about what you are smelling!
Now comes everyone's favorite step - sip! Make sure you pay attention to what you are drinking! Think about...
- Sweetness - this happens when there is a bit of residual sugar left in the wine. Most wine is made until there is almost no residual sugar left. Many people confuse sweetness with fruit.
- Bitterness - this can be due to high alcohol content and/or tannins
- Tannin - a textural component to wine - makes your mouth dry out.
- Acidity - this wine component makes your mouth water. Its more evident in white wine than red.
- Fruit - each varietal has a different fingerprint that makes it taste different from other varietals.
When the wine is gone, it is sad. But the finish of the wine is quite important. The finish of a wine is how long you can taste the wine after you've swallowed it. The longer the finish, the better quality the wine.
The finish should be like a good date - smooth, elegant, and goes on for exactly how long you want it. Think about if you enjoy the finish, if it is delicious it is a good wine for your taste, if you don't like it so much, even if the finish goes on for 5 minutes, maybe this is not the wine for you.
Some Wine Vocabulary
- Varietal: This means the type of grape used in the wine. You can have a single varietal wine or a wine with multiple varietals. For example: A white Burgundy (aka Bourgogne) is made of the varietal Chardonnay.
- Dry Wine: a wine that is not sweet. As in, a wine that has no residual sugar. When wine is made, the grape sugar is converted to alcohol. When there is no sugar (or very little sugar) left the wine is considered dry. The opposite? A dessert wine.
- The Formula for Wine: Sugar (grape juice) + yeast = Alcohol & CO2
- Vintage: The year the grapes were harvested
- Wine Tasting:Actually tasting & thinking about the wine in your glass, not just drinking it ;)