Become an expert at your next wine tasting
Step 1: Color
Observing a wine's color can tell you a lot about the wine. Note the color by holding your glass up above a blank sheet of white paper. Young, red wines tend to be more brilliant while older reds tend to darker and opaque.
Young white wines are usually vibrant and paler in color as compared to an older white that tums to a richer gold color.
Of course, this varies and is dependent upon the grape composition and aging techniques.
Step 2: Body
To gauge the body of the wine, simply tilt your glass so that the wine glides up the side of the glass. Stand the glass upright and watch as the wine falls back into the glass. A light-bodied wine will fall immediately and practically leave no trace of touching the side of the glass. Conversely, a full-bodied wine will fall slowly and will leave streaks-otherwise referred to as the "legs" of a wine.
Step 3: Nose
Otherwise known as the"bouquet." the nose of the of the wine expresses what the wine smells like. To do this accurately, you should do it in two steps.
FIrst, sniff the wine as it is in the glass. Observe the subtle aromas.
Second, swirl your glass by placing it on a flat surface and hold the stem securely as you move the glass in circular motions. This allows the wine to aerate (or breath). Take a second sniff and observe the more pronounced aromas.
Step 4: Taste
This is the best part! Take a sip of the wine. Note the flavors. When you take a second sip, try to breath in air as you do so. Hold the sip in your mouth for a moment or two before swallowing (you can swish it around to really bring out the flavor). Note the more pronounced flavors.
You should also take note of the finish or after taste. Notice how long the flavor lasts in your mouth or note the tingle on your tongue from the acidity.
Tips to keep your wine in top condition
The ideal is 56-55°F; however, any constant temperature within 40-65°F will do. Consistency is key.
A relative humidity of 50 - 80% is the acceptable range, but about 70% is recommended.
Light will prematurely age a bottle of wine. If tour wines are kept in areas of direct sunlight, cover them with a dark blanket.
Store wines so that you don't disturb them all when you select a particular bottle. Also, it's important to remember that vibrations caused by excessive sound (loud music, for example) may harm your wine.
Terms to help you navigate the world of wine
Describes a fresh, tart or sour taste
Describes a wine with a high acidity
Describes a wine that lacks acidity
Describes a wine with fresh-cut grass-like notes
Describes wine with wet stone or flint-like character
Toast (or Fresh Bread)
A yeasty or fresh dough scent