|Red Wine in Stemless Glass|
Tasting for me starts with the color. A great guide to color is found on the Wine Folly site here. Generally when I'm tasting (or drinking) I pour and observe the color. How opaque? Bright or dark? how does the color fade towards the edge? All of these help me understand, and learn, what to expect when I see it again. Life is a journey after all.
Next, I swirl. I swirl to allow two things. First to see what kind of legs the wine has and then for smell.
Legs. I won't spend much time talking about wine legs here, you can Google it I'm sure. For me, wine legs show two things. Alcohol and sugar. Both very important in wine taste.
More legs can equal more sugar or more alcohol or both. I'm looking for balance and high alcohol can offset a too sweet wine. I use the info I gain about the legs to help with the next two things, smell and taste.
Smell. I put my nose right in the glass after a good re-swirl. As some of the alcohol evaporates it carries with it the essence of the wine, all the fantastic elements that make up its taste. Fruity, earthy, spicy, how does it smell to you? Smell makes up so much of the next step, taste.
Now what we are here for, the taste. I put enough in my mouth to be able to get all of my mouth exposed. Front and back of tongue and the roof of my mouth. Next I make some noise. Eating with your mouth full is gross, wine tasting with your mouth open is smart. You need some air to really open up the wine (there is a reason we aerate wines). Next, repeat. But, does it taste different after a wine cracker? After a sip of water? Try both of these, you may be amazed.
No one can smell for you, no one can taste for you. we are all unique and nothing tastes the same to everyone. I may smell smoke and you only get fruit, no one is wrong, but this is why I may like something you don't or vice versa. If you pay attention to the look and smell of wines, you will get much more out of the most important thing, taste.