Guide to Tasting Wine


Hold the glass up to a white background and look closely at the color. Whites can be the palest yellow-green to deep yellow-brown. Younger whites are often paler than older ones. Reds range from purple through ruby, to red-brown. Older reds are often paler than younger ones. Generally, in wines of either color, and of the same age, wines of a deeper shade are usually more intensely flavored.


With your glass no more than half full, keep it on a level surface and swirl the wine to mix it with air.

Tasting Technique


Upon swirling, immediately stick your nose as far as possible into the glass and smell the wine. Try it several times using different techniques (such as short sniffs and deep breaths). Then try to describe what you smell. A few clues are listed below.


Now take a medium-sized sip and hold it in your mouth. Draw in a little air being careful not to choke. Swish it through all parts of your mouth tasting it on the tip, the sides and in the back. Take your time. Now swallow, counting how long the taste stays with you. Concentrate silently for a minute on the tastes, then try to describe them.

Describing the Aroma

A few possible aromas might include:


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Have you ever felt intimidated when ordering wine? When the waiter presents you with that first taste, do you wish someone else would do the honors? With a little knowledge and some very pleasant practice you won't have to feel unconfident way any longer.