How to Taste Wine

Wine Bottle and Glass

This is how I used to taste wine:

1.) Drink whole tasting glass of wine really fast

2.) Declare “I loveeeee this!”


Some vague complaint like, “It’s too sweet”. I associate bad wine and sweet wine… just not my thing. My husband, on the other hand loves sweet wines (something about being Ukrainian, I think). It brings me to one of the fundamental questions I hope to answer with this blog: How does one distinguish a “bad wines” from a wine you just don’t like. Can I appreciate a good bottle of Gewürztraminer even if I don’t like it? 

This is how I will taste wine starting… now: 

1.) Memorize a handful of words used to describe wine. Like:

Acidity, Balance, Body, Bouquet/nose, Concentrated, Extract, Finish, Fruity, Legs, Length, Mouthfeel, Structure, Tannin

Really great (and funny, score!) descriptions of these concepts can be found here in Boston Magazine. I will attempt my own definitions once I understand these words (as they apply to wine tasting) a little bit better.

2.) Make sure the wine is out of reach of the dog

Sam and wine

Sam making sure the wine is good enough for me to drink.

3.) Evaluate wine by sight

4.) Evaluate wine by smell

5.) Evaluate wine by taste

Wine Enthusiast Magazine has a great guide on how to taste wine. It goes over these last three steps in great detail. I think I may have to do some printing and memorizing. Stay tuned for my first official wine-blog tasting coming up later in the week!



Filed under Beginner's Guide

4 responses to “How to Taste Wine

  1. Does Sam like wine? 😉

    • Yes. I blame this on one time when he was about 12 weeks old when I left an open bottle of beer on the floor. He immediately body slammed it and lapped up as much as he could. Now every time we drink, he begs.

  2. Susan Murry

    This sounds very interesting and educational. Hopefully, I will learn more about serving the correct wines to guest and not just the same old choices.

  3. I hope to learn your new method too because mine is along the lines of “gulp quickly and exclaim ‘i like’ or ‘i don’t like’ and also yes, keep out of the reach of dog, or more often, dog’s tail.

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