5 Expert Wine Tasting Tips for Every Beginner

5 Expert Wine Tasting Tips for Every Beginner

Wine tasting can be an intimidating prospect for any novice. Seeing the way wine connoisseurs swish their glasses or discuss vintages, acids, and other fancy labels—it’s both desirable and discouraging at the same time. Take heart! One doesn’t need to be an expert to enjoy a wine tasting experience. 

If you love a good glass of wine but don’t know where to begin, then this post is for you. Here are easy-to-remember pointers from wine experts, the five S’s of wine tasting:


Save your colored goblets for later and start with a clear wine glass. Inspecting what’s inside will help you get more knowledge about the wine’s intensity, age, concentration, and overall taste. Notice its color. It helps to raise your glass to the light, or hold it against a white background. 

Color gives you a hint to the age of the wine. Remember that white wines gain tone as they mature, while reds lose their brilliance. So if you’re holding a glass of Merlot, take note of its shade. Young red wines should be a deeper red like burgundy, while older wines may show a hint of brown around the rim.


Hold your glass by its stem and give it a couple of swirls by moving it in a circulation motion. It’s not just a flamboyant gesture that wine lovers make before taking a sip. Swirling is an essential step to wine tasting because it allows oxygen to enter the wine. This aeration reveals the wine’s complexities, making it more intense and more fragrant. 


Aside from its taste, a good wine’s aroma is part of its charm. Before you taste, put your nose over the rim of your glass and breathe in. Every wine is different and takes its distinct aroma from the grapes used to make them.

Can’t say whether it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or Zinfandel? Don’t fret—as you gain more experience with different wine varieties, it will be easier for your nose to detect and identify different wine aromas. 


A sip—not a gulp—is the best way of getting introduced to the wine. This stage is the crescendo of your wine tasting experience. Enjoy the moment, and get to know its taste and characteristics. 

Before you swallow, let the liquid slide across your tongue and take note of different sensations. You will be able to tell whether it is sweet, bitter, or fruity. You can also determine if it leaves a strong or acidic aftertaste. 


Put a sweet ending to your experience by savoring the wine’s aroma, flavor, and texture. You know you’ve found a winner when the wine leaves you reaching out for another sip.

A final tip to make your wine tasting adventure a more memorable and lasting experience: drink water to cleanse your palate in between glasses, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Getting to know different wine varieties take some time and more than one trip to wineries. Remember to savor not just the wine, but the whole experience. 

If you’re looking to visit an urban winery for wine classes, get in touch with us today to book your visit!


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