Friday, February 24, 2012

In our last post about wine tastings we learned that you don’t have to be so nervous about them, but rather go and have a good time. In this post, I want to share the 5 S’s of a wine tasting so you'll know what’s going on with all that sniffing and swirling. Using the 5 S’s of wine tasting, you can get the full experience out of the taste of the wine, but honestly, this is just a way to make sure you’re using all of your senses to experience a wine, as you should with anything. You could also adapt this a little bit to any enjoyable experience in life from food to sex to a walk in the park.

Just remember, the bottom line is what do YOU like. If you just want to go chug some wine, then do it. If you don't like to smell and swirl your wine, that's fine.

Seeing is the first step in wine tasting. It’s easy-just look at it! Look at the color, look to see if there is sediment, look to see if it is cloudy. All of these can make a difference with the taste. If you do this enough, after a while, you’ll have sort of an idea of what a really dark red wine will taste like.
Questions you could ask: Why is this wine cloudy? What does it mean if it has sediment?

Go ahead, stick your nose in the glass and take a big whiff! As you do that, think about the smell. Do you smell anything familiar? Fruit? Oak? Spice? The smell can give you a big idea about how the wine will taste. Sometimes two sniffs will allow you to smell even more.
Questions you could ask: Do I smell Coffee? What is in the wine that makes it smell like coffee?

Yeah, I know. You’ve seen people do it so you feel like that’s what makes you look cool as a wine taster. All this does is release the aromas of the wine and also as the wine falls back into the glass, it creates “legs” which give you an idea of the body of the wine. Younger wines have smaller legs.
Questions you could ask: What is the proper way to swirl?

There is a bit of an art to the sip. The main thing you want to keep in mind with wine is that you want to taste it fully so don’t swallow it too fast. Let it sit on your tongue for a bit, swirl it around in there if you like and try to think about what you’re tasting. Cherries? Pepper? Butter? Take a second sip and see if you taste anything different.
Questions you could ask: What makes it taste so buttery? Do I taste chocolate?

Think about the after taste as you take a few breaths. The tastes of some wines can hang around for a while after you drink them. This is your opportunity to think about if you like the wine and if you want to drink more.
Questions you could ask: I don’t like it, can I pour it out? How much is a bottle of this?



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