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Winemaking Tutorial - Lesson Eight

Drinking Your Wine

Now for the fun part... drinking the fruits of your labor! Tasting wine is one of the most simple yet pleasurable experiences your senses can enjoy. Get the most out of your wine by using all your senses to embrace it... just follow these simple steps:

  1. Pour it - Pour a small amount of wine into a clean wine glass (a real wine glass, not a tumbler or a plastic facsimile).
    NOTE: Believe it or not, wine will taste better if it's served in a glass designed to enhance its particular varietal and/or character. For instance, white wines are generally served in glasses with a taller, narrower bowl than red wines, so as to concentrate the aroma and intensify the taste. If you have a chance, we recommend you conduct the "glass test", where you pour a big red wine in two differently shaped glasses. The same wine tastes markedly different in a glass designed for a red wine versus one that is not... see for yourself!
  2. Swirl it - Hold the wine to a light and observe the color and clarity in the glass; make a note of any legs present.
  3. Nose it - Put your nose directly over the glass and close your eyes; inhale the wine deeply and enjoy the aroma. To a great extent, successful tasting revolves around the ability to smell wine. Ever notice that when you have a cold and a stopped up nose that your ability to taste food or drink is greatly diminished?
  4. Sip it - Take a small bit of wine in your mouth and swish it around; let the wine come in contact with all the areas of your tongue and palate.
  5. Breathe it - While the wine is still in your mouth, slowly breathe in and out a couple of times through your nose. Observe the mouth feel; how does the wine feel on your tongue?
  6. Swallow it - Notice how the wine tastes as it departs the rear of your tongue and passes the back of your throat. Make a note of any astringency.
  7. Breathe out - What kind of aftertaste do you observe?


As you can see from the tasting method described above, it is not necessary to drink an entire glass of wine to discover its taste and character. Quite a lot can be learned about a wine by just a sip or two!

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