Wine Tasting 101

So you want to seem like you know what you’re talking about next time you go to a vineyard with a hot date, huh? Well, friends, you came to the right place!


Now I am no sommelier. I am not an expert. Just a wine enthusiast that like’s going to vineyards all over the world to sample their best offerings. And through these vineyards I’ve learned a few tips for how to properly taste wine and what some of those random terms mean.

What the f*** are wine legs anyway?

  • Take note of the color

The color of the wine can tell you a lot about how the wine will taste and how it was made. Color comes from the wine coming into contact with the grape skins after the grapes have been juiced. The longer they are in contact the deeper the color.

For example, lighter white wines will have a more crisp and refreshing taste whereas bright yellow whites will be smoother and fuller. It’s pretty much the same with red. The darker the hue the deeper and fuller the wine.

Pro tip: Try taking a look at the wines “legs”. The “legs” are the droplets that run down the side of the glass, also known as viscosity. The slower they run down the glass the higher the alcohol or sugar content.

  •  Take a whiff

Taste has a lot to do with your sense of smell so don’t forget to put your nose in it. This is one grey area where people seem to differ quite a lot. But there is no real definitive answer. Whatever you smell is what you smell. I’ve had sommeliers tell me they thought a certain wine tastes like cat pee. But that’s what they smelled so it’s not exactly wrong.

Most commonly, however, people will tend to say things like they smell fruit, citrus, smoke, etc.

Pro tip: To get a really good smell, try swirling the wine in your glass and holding it up to your nose. This will release more aroma and make it easier to smell all of the different scents.

  • Taste

Now the fun part. Taste the wine. What flavors do you pick up? Is it fruity? Oaky? Smoky? Plums and cherries? Again, there’s no real definitive answer.

Pro tip: Try determining the “body” characteristic of your wine. A term referring to how wine rests in your mouth. Is it heavy? Is it light? As Vinepair compare it, it’s sort of like 2% milk, skim milk, etc.

And there you have it! A fool proof way to seem like you know what you’re doing when tasting wines! Do you like going wine tasting? Let me know in the comments below!





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