Ever wanted to know how to taste wine properly? Learning how to taste wine will help you discover different styles and varieties, figure out what you like and dislike in a fine drop, and, of course, have a bit of fun. And while there’s definitely an art to tasting wine, it’s not hard to learn and it doesn’t take long to master… In fact, it’s just a five-step process and one of our favourite ways to savour a taste of the good life here at The Lake House.
Here’s how to taste wine in five simple steps:
A proper wine tasting begins in your glass, not your mouth. Once a drop has been poured, grab your wineglass by the stem or the base and give it a swirl. First timer? To avoid sharing a taste of the good life with your shirt, put your glass on a flat surface and move it in a circular motion. The movement will create a little whirlpool without the splatter, oxygenate the wine (which helps bring out the wine’s aroma) and reveal its texture/consistency (for example, sweet wines tend to leave thick, viscous streaks down the inside of the glass).
Don’t underestimate the importance of your olfactory system when it comes to wine tasting. A wine’s scent, called the nose, consists of aroma and bouquet, both of which can significantly affect the overall taste and appeal of a drop. Post-swirl, bring the glass up to your nose and take a few good sniffs (try short breaths in through the nose, and out through your mouth). What can you smell? Perhaps it’s something sweet or floral, or maybe it’s smoky, earthy or chocolatey.
Step three is where the “tasting” part of our how to taste wine guide comes into play. Take a sip of wine and let the liquid coat the surface of your mouth. This process activates all of your taste buds and helps release the wine’s aroma back up the nasal passages. While you do this, think about what you can taste. Is the wine sweet, sour, tart or bitter? Slowly swish the wine around your tongue and teeth. Is the wine light, smooth, silky, full or weighty? Make sure the drink covers your entire palate. Does the wine’s taste complement its aroma and bouquet, and most importantly, do you like it?
After all of that sloshing, a wine’s flavour and aroma will start to subdue. You can expel any remaining liquid into a dump bucket (do look/ask for one first!) or choose to swallow it. Either is fine, but if you plan on powering through our entire range of cool-climate wines and be able to walk in a straight line afterwards, you might want to opt for the former rather than the latter.
But wait, the tasting is not yet over! Once the wine has left your mouth, think about its aftertaste or finish; how long its taste lingers. If it hangs around (upwards of 20 minutes) the wine has a “long finish”, which is generally considered a good thing. Now’s also the time to write down (a pen and paper are always handy during a wine tasting) any additional notes about the wine you’ve tasted. Focus on its aroma, flavour, texture, finish and, of course, if you enjoyed it. That way you’re guaranteed to remember your favourite drops after the wine tasting.
Ready to put our five-step wine tasting guide to practise? Come and join us for a wine tasting at our lakeside property, where you can get up-close-and-personal with our cool-climate, Great Southern wines. We’ve got plenty of liquid “good life” bottled up and stored at our Cellar Door waiting to be tried, tasted and savoured. Book your seated wine tasting experience today.