Whether you plan a trip to a winery or you just want to taste a red wine at home with your family and friends, you need to be able to appreciate one of life’s finer pleasures.
Wine tasting can be really intimidating, but if you want to be able to track down the ones that you prefer the most, you need to know the certain things.
The following are the basic steps on how to taste red wine.
- Notice its colour
One of the first things you need to do when tasting red wine is to observe its color and clarity. You can do so by holding the glass up to a white background, as to be able to distinguish it better. Then by using the rim of a tablecloth you can notice if the wine is dull or brilliant. For example, you can notice the depth of color.
For instance, if the colour is quite pale and watery near its edge, it means that its a rather thin wine. If it’s brown or orange, it means that it is either an older one or it has been oxidized. Keep in mind that red wines can range from red and ruby to purple and brick and as they age they begin to look more brown.
- Taste it in your mouth
Right after opening the bottle, it’s the best time for you to catch a small sniff, in order to be able to compare its fragrance after swirling. This way you can have the opportunity to test if the wine has any off odors.
If it smells badly, you can understand that the wine is rotten (more about how to tell if red wine is rotten). You need to remember also that common aromas of wines include different spices, herbs, flowers and fruits. The overall ‘taste’ of the wine is a combination of different flavors and smells. By tasting it, you can understand if its thick, salty, sweet or sour.
- Smell the wine
The smell of red wine refers to its aromas, which can include spices, fruits or even flowers, but generally red wines smell like fruits. Of course, you can probably recognize strawberries or blackberries or other fruits when tasting it. Even though you may not smell the same thing as another person, as the sense of smell is an objective experience, there are specific smells to certain varieties. Be sure to smell the wine several times.
For example, a wet and musty smell can indicate that the wine was not properly bottled and cannot be salvaged. A wine with great complexity can offer you different aromas every time you smell it, like coffee, violet, raspberry, cherry, black currant, cedar, mint and many more.
You need to remember also that the temperature a wine is served at can actually affect the way it smells and tastes.