How to taste wine like a professional wine taster, even if you are just a beginner? To be a good wine taster, all you need are the 5 S’s (see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor), and you will be able to get the most out of any glass of wine
See – Hold the glass at 45 degree angle over a white background. Look for the color and clarity of the wine. Colors give the taster clues to the grape variety, and whether the wine was aged in wood. As a general rule, color saturation tends to go hand in hand with flavor intensity.
Swirl – Swirl the wine a couple times. This is to increase the surface area of the wine by spreading it over the inside of the glass, allowing the aromas to escape from solution and reach your nose. Heavy wines will be deeper in color and generally more intense on the nose. Sweeter wines, being denser will leave thick, viscous streaks down the inside of the glass when swirled.
Sniff – Great wine is enticing on the nose and gives you a hint of what is to come, so sniffing the wine before tasting is essential. A wine’s quality can be judged by its nose and taste.
Sip – Take a slightly larger sip than usual and roll the wine around your mouth for 3-5 seconds, exposing it to all of your taste buds. This is where the complex taste experience and characteristics of a wine happen, pay attention to the initial flavors that stand out – sweetness, fruitiness, saltiness, acidity, bitterness, and alcohol.
Savour – Take another sip of wine, this time slurp the wine. Note the aftertaste of the wine, how long does the finish last? A good, 60 second or longer flavor as an aftertaste is a good sign of quality. Sometimes, you will pick up things in the finish that was not detectable in the initial taste.
There is no right or wrong in your taste, as everyone has a different taste. But one thing for sure is that the best wines in the world are meant to be enjoyed with friends and family over a meal.
Our Wine Coterie (OWC) has our own wine tasting room that acts as a waterhole for wine-lovers to conduct and savour wine tasting sessions with good company. Do check out our events regularly.