Follow your Nose: How to Brush Up your Wine Tasting Skills

Wine tasting might look very mysterious to anyone who has not learned the skills already. But there are a few basic skills you can learn that will allow you to get a lot more out of your wine.

If you already know what you like to drink, you can take your wine tasting skills further by learning more about the properties you should be looking for in wine as well as how to taste it properly.

Here are some of the things you should know to give you a good start to your wine tasting.

Become Familiar with the Main Properties of Wine

Wine has a number of properties that you should be looking for when you taste it. Here’s a rundown of the most important to know when you start wine tasting.

Firstly, you will want to consider the body of the wine. The body is defined as the heaviness or the weight of the wine. A higher alcoholic content will generally lead to a wine with greater body, and this can be affected by the amount of sugar in the grapes as well as by the concentration of the flavors.

Acidity is the next property of the wine to consider. Grapes contain natural acids, and different varieties of grapes have different acidity levels. But acids are also added during the process of making wine, and the amount of acidity can be affected by the climate as well.

The sweetness of the wine is another important property. Sweetness is something that most people will be able to judge fairly easily, and it is affected by the amount of sugar left after fermentation.

Tannins are compounds in the skins of the grapes, and these add to the texture and the complexity of the wine. They are most prominent in red wine, and they leave a bitter feeling in the mouth.

Finally, you will want to focus on the flavors of the wine. These are often complex, and they are produced by the grape, the soil type, the climate, the techniques used in the winemaking process, and other factors.

How to Taste Wine

Now you know about the main properties of wine, you can learn how to taste it properly. You will want to focus on the four key steps, and these are the same steps used by beginners and sommeliers alike.

1. Appearance

To start with, don’t use your taste buds at all and instead simply inspect the wine visually. Look at the color and the opacity, and study it for a few seconds.

2. Smell

Next, smell the wine. Do this by swirling it in the glass as this releases more of the aroma. To start with, try to work out whether you can sense any fruit aromas. Focus on categories of fruits like tropical, citrus, red fruits, etc, and this will give you a good start.

3. Taste

The tasting part itself is where you consider all of the properties of the wine such as the tannins, sweetness, and body. Swirl the wine around in your mouth to get to the flavors, and do this a few times as you try to decide what you are picking up from the wine.

4. Make Your Conclusion

Try to come up with a profile of the wine so that you can remember it. Did something particularly impress you? Was there something you did not like about it? Perhaps it was too acidic or maybe it was a unique taste. You can also make notes to help you remember.

Practice Tasting Wine

The best way to hone your wine tasting skills is to practice regularly. The great thing about wine tasting is that all you need is a bottle of wine and your nose. But try to get more adventurous with your wine tasting by going beyond simply buying a bottle to taste on your own.

Read books and magazines about it, and join a wine tasting club. You might find that a local wine bar offers wine tasting sessions once a week or once a month, and if so you might want to join in.

It’s also a good idea to find someone who already has experience and then you can go wine tasting together, and you can learn from them.

You could even go on a wine tasting tour. There are many places you can do this, and one of the best is in Hermann, Missouri. You can head here for a weekend and explore the wine trail and visit a number of vineyards and get to try some really interesting wines. You might also find there are courses or tasting sessions with experts to provide you with extra help.

Staying in Hermann, Missouri, is easy as you can stay overnight in a lodge. It’s the perfect way to develop your wine tasting skills, and you’ll also have a good time and see some beautiful scenery.

Grow Your Wine Tasting Skills

The wonderful world of wine tasting will take you on a fascinating journey that lasts a lifetime. With so many unique wines to taste and so many ways to enhance your wine tasting abilities over the years, it is a hobby that will provide you with plenty of enjoyment.

Start now by learning the basics of how to taste wine properly, then grow your skills with the help of plenty of glasses of delicious wine.

Amber Law is a huge foodie and last year was given the gift of a wine tasting course. She’s thoroughly enjoying tasting all the different wine and as well as becoming a little tipsy she’s also learning a lot. Read about her wine tasting journey as she shares her knowledge with her readers.



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Emma covers dating and relationships for Unfinished Man, bringing a witty woman's perspective to her writing. She empowers independent women to pursue fulfillment in life and love. Emma draws on her adventures in modern romance and passion for self-improvement to deliver relatable advice.

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