Tips for wine tasting

Wine tasting is an art form in the process of evaluating wine. While a professional wine taster’s senses of taste and smell are finely tuned to detect the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle flavours, aromas and bouquets of wine, it can also be a fun activity that can be enjoyed by all. However, it is important to understand the basics of wine tasting before you start pouring. The wine-tasting experience can be enhanced by learning to detect the aromas and flavours and appreciate wine.

Through wine tasting, we are also able to detect the quality of the wine and its ageing potential. It is a skill that can be learned by anyone with a keen sense of smell and taste.



Learn to savour it

You need to select a good wine, to begin with. For a novice wine taster, it is best to start with a good quality wine that is not too expensive. There are many books on how to select wines, so buy one if you wish to learn more. Wine tasting can be done at home as well as in restaurants and bars. Always remember though, that it is best to keep your senses sharp when you are out on the town drinking wine.

As you get more accustomed to the process of wine tasting, you will be able to identify the aromas and flavours.

There are  two types of wines: red and white. Red wines are known for their bold flavours and aromas such as berries, chocolate, coffee and spices. White wines have flavours such as peach, pear, apple and citrus. In every wine, one must look at its consistency, acidity, colour, astringency and balance while tasting.



There are many ways to taste wine:

  • Swirl the wine in your glass. This will release the aromas of the wine.
  • Take a small sip of the wine and swirl it around your mouth. Swish it around your mouth to release the flavours before swallowing it.
  • Sip some water after you have tasted the wine to cleanse your palate so that you can taste it again.

Some other important things to remember: take small sips of wine; do not drink too much wine as it can cause you to lose your sense of taste and smell. In order to appreciate wine properly, you need to have a good pair of wine-tasting glasses as they will help you detect the different flavours in the wine. Also, when you have a good set of glasses, you can better appreciate the colours and aromas in your wine.

A white background is essential when it comes to tasting wine. When you see the colour of your wine on a white background, you will be able to see the wine’s colour better – something that helps you detect its clarity and transparency.




Explore the market

You don’t have to travel very far to taste some great wines. You can find shops, wineries and vineyards all around the world in which you can buy wine directly or taste it without compromising on a purchase (as is the case in wineries like Quinta dos Vales  in Portugal).

At this Wine Estate, you can start by tasting the wines available or by engaging in a guided tour and commented tasting which will lead you through some tips and notes on Quinta dos Vales’ renowned wines. Besides being a fun activity to do, it also brings an educational side to the visit, since you explore new flavours while learning more about the winemaking process and the Estate’s and region’s history.

You can explore the wine-related activities available at Quinta dos Vales on their website and improve your visit with a vacation – as the Estate has accommodation units on site.



This text was originally published in:  Portugal Resident

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