Quick Recipes and Easy

Become A Wine Expert… Follow These Steps And You’ll Know How To Taste Wine Like A Pro

It can be amusing sometimes to read the marks on the back of wine bottles… you’ll see wine given some very fascinating and amusing descriptions, for example:
“This wine has an aroma of fresh citrus, pear and orange blossom”
“This wine has a hint of white truffle chocolate, spearmint, spice and black pepper flavours”.

While I always loved a excellent wine, I never quite understood those wine descriptions. I used to wonder where those descriptions came from. How could these flavours come from fermented grapes?

That is, until I learnt how to drink a wine so that I could fully appreciate its aromas and flavours. Now I know that by smelling and tasting a wine in the right way I can smell the aroma and taste the flavours described on the mark. You just need to open your mind to it!

Most people associate the look-smell-taste wine drinking style with wine judges/experts. But with a small amount of knowledge and by following their example, you can easily improve your experience of wine. Drinking the wine is only a small part of the experience!

Here are 3 simple steps you can use to maximise the enjoyment of your wine drinking experience:

Step 1: Look

It’s vital to have a excellent look at the wine. If the wine doesn’t look excellent you may not want to drink it. Make sure you’ve got excellent light, a white background and clean glassware.

White wine should be clear and sparkling with no sediment or haze. The colour of the wine will be affected by the grape variety, whether or not it was aged in oak, the sugar content and bottle aging. But generally as it ages, the wine becomes darker in colour; changing from straw, to yellow, to dark yellow, to gold.

The colour of red wine varies depending on the grape variety. It will also depend on the quality of grapes; length of time the wine was fermented with the skins and bottle aging. Young red wine is generally a vibrant “purple” colour and as it ages the colour will change from plum, cherry, brick red, to tawny.

Step 2: Smell

The smell of a wine can be very fascinating and can be nearly as enjoyable as drinking the wine!

When you pour a wine, only fill the glass to a third full. The best wine glasses are those that close in towards the top to trap the aroma. Hold the glass by the stem, and give the wine a swirl to coat the glass with wine. This will release the full aroma. Then, stick your nose into the glass, breathe in and concentrate on what you can smell.

When you first start doing this, you may want to compare what you smell with the winemaker’s description on the mark. It’s fascinating that you really can smell the aroma as described by the winemaker, such as “fresh dark cherries and plum, spice, white pepper and liquorice”.

Step 3: Taste

Sip your wine. Hold it in your mouth for a moment, and then swallow. Look for:

- Fruit flavours or other recognisable tastes
- Wood flavours: has the wine been fermented in oak?
- Nutty flavours: from yeast aging
- Acid tastes: which contributes to the crispness of the end
- Palate length: does the flavour start huge and then drop away in the middle palate? Or is it long and lingering?
- Astringency: can you detect involuntary “puckering” of your mouth as the tannins hit your tastebuds?

As you can see there is a small more to drinking and enjoying wine than simply swallowing, especially if you want to gain the maximum pleasure. Try the look-smell-taste method and compare the difference.

This is also a fantastic topic of conversation at a dinner party… see who can pick the aroma and taste that the winemaker suggests on the mark!!

The bottom line though is: drink the wine that you delight in. The best way to find out what wine you delight in the most is by tasting as many wine varieties as you can and make a note about what you thought.

Article by Jodie Smith of boutiquewineries.com.au” target=”_blank Boutique Wineries a leading online cellar door offering uniquely different wines from over 120 boutique wineries. It makes finding the hard to get wines of Australia’s small wineries simple.

If you loved this article, please feel free to forward it to others, make it available from your site or post it on forums for others to read. Just make sure that this paragraph and URL are included. For more information, tips and articles on wine, Australian boutique wine reviews and wine ratings, visit The Wine-Tasting Secrets Newsletter at boutiquewineries.com.au” target=”_blank Online Boutique Wine Shopping in Australia

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