5 Steps of Drinking Wines: Observe, smell, taste

5 Steps of Drinking Wines: Observe, smell, taste

5 Steps of Drinking Wines: Observe, smell, taste By Franco Lee (MSc Electronic Business Management)

This article is to summarize some articles I read about wines and the experience of tasting wines in the past 2 years. Each person has his own approach to wine tasting. For me, the first thing is to relax. Wine tasting is a very personal experience, meaning that your evaluation of a wine may differ from other people.

There are five basic things to wine tasting:

  • Step 1 – Check out the cork

  • Step 2 – See the color

  • Step 3 – Watch the legs

  • Step 4 – Smell

  • Step 5 – Taste before you swallow

Step 1 – Check out the cork It’s a small and little task and not everyone sees it as important. But it’s an essential task to me.
After a bottle of wine is opened, you should inspect the cork to see whether the bottom is moist and the top is dry. If the cork is completely dry, then air may enter the bottle and the wine is bad. On the other hand, if the cork is completely moist, wine may seep out of the bottle due to high temperature or other problems with storage. In case the cork is partially dry and wet, the bottle may well be bad. Take a quick smell of the wet part of the cork to ensure there is no bad or sour smell. Wine that is corked or gone bad will usually have a foul smelling cork.

Step 2 – See the color The first thing you should look at is the COLOUR when the wine is poured into your glass. All quality wines, both red and white, should be clear. Is it clear and clean? Or is it cloudy? An excellent red wine may be very dark in colour but it will still be clear. If you see a muddy or unclear liquid, your wine should have problems.
The colour of a wine can also imply its age as the colour will gradually turn brownish as it ages. There are countless variations of colour and hue in different wines. Certainly, appreciation and understanding of these variations are at a more advanced level and is a lifelong course.
Step 3 – Watch the legs Many people say that a great wine is like a beautiful girl – it has great legs! Twirl your glass and watch the wine around the sides of the glass. If it’s a good wine, you will see legs slowly develop along the side of the glass. The legs of a good wine will gradually run down the side of the glass and should be clearly visible. If it goes down very fast or isn’t clearly visible, the body of your wine may be too light (or in other words, the body is not rich enough).
Step 4 – Smell The nose or the bouquet of a wine is a very important indication of the quality and style of a wine. A good wine can exhibit a wide variety of different scents ranging from fruits to woods and minerals.
When you smell your wine, remember to swirl the wine around then stick your nose well into the glass and take a long slow breath of the smell. In a red wine, the smell will not only indicate the quality of the wine, but will also present its readiness of drinking it. Remember one important thing, the smell of a red wine is often closed when the bottle is first opened and after given some time for the wine to BREATHE, the bouquet will open up.

Step 5 – Taste before you swallow Alright! You can now taste it. First, fill about a quarter of your mouth with wine and suck in a little air, especially if the wine has just been opened. Next, move the wine around your mouth, from front to both sides then to the back of your mouth. Swallow slowly – good wine is meant to be drunk slowly, not quickly like soft drinks.
The movement of the wine around your mouth will allow you to taste all different flavors of the wine. Slow swallowing of the wine will allow you to judge the persistence of the wine in your mouth. This is also called “a wine finish” – the important element in judging a wine’s quality.

Closing note The above is prepared from my personal experience. You, definitely, have your special drinking style and interests. But for everyone, a special night, some close friends, and an extraordinary bottle of wine are what it’s all about.