Taste Wine Like a Pro With This Sommelier Crash Course

If you ask us, the best way to enjoy a glass of wine is at the end of a long day, snuggled up on the couch, and ready to watch the next episode of whatever we’re binge-watching. Wine is regarded as one of the most sophisticated drinks, with people studying for years to become sommeliers. Those in the know can pick up which wood the wine was aged in and will always distinguish their Pinot Noir from their Merlot. Whether you are able to detect the subtle notes hiding amidst the grapes, or you’re just a fan of that warm feeling wine brings, these tasting tips will ensure you impress the guests at your next dinner party.

Don’t Hold Back

One of the easiest ways to identify a wine aficionado is in how they hold the glass. While cupping the glass may be tempting, it will also result in your beverage becoming warm. Always hold your wine glass by its stem. 

Look on the Bright Side

The way the wine looks in the glass can reveal many things. Hold the glass directly in front of your face and tilt it slightly—a lighter color indicates that the wine is fairly young, while a deeper, richer color means that the vino is older. This even applies to red wine as it changes to a brownier red the older it is. 

Swirl and Smell

Gently swish the contents of your glass by rotating your wrist. The liquid will form little lines known as “legs” on the side of the glass and these will indicate how full-bodied the wine is. Thinner legs usually mean the wine is more delicate and refined, while you can expect a bold and heavier drink with thick legs. Place your nose just over the edge of the wine glass, keeping your mouth open and sniff. What do you pick up? Fruity? Floral? Woody?

Taste Test

The part you’ve been waiting for! Take a sip of the liquid and swish it around your mouth before swallowing. The easiest things to identify at first are whether the wine is sweet or dry, how acidic it is, and the level of tannins (the astringency that causes a dry and puckery feeling in your mouth). Feel free to mention what flavors you pick up. Litchi? Berries? Chocolate? 

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