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Tips For First-Time Wine Tasters

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If you've been thinking about venturing into your first ever wine tasting at a local winery, you may be wondering what you can expect. Whether you're an experienced wine drinker or you're completely new to it, there are a few things that you should be prepared for. Here are a couple of tips to help you approach your wine tasting like a pro and get the most from the experience.

Proper Glass Handling

The winery will provide you with a glass for your tasting. If they don't issue new glasses for each wine that you sample, make sure that you rinse your glass between pours and ensure that it's dry before you taste the next one. That way, the wine you sample isn't altered by the flavor of the previous wine or diluted by water inside the cup.

Always hold your wine glass by the stem. This limits any risk of warming the wine with the heat from your hand, which can affect the flavor. In addition, it eliminates any fingerprints, smudges, or other marks on the glass, which can affect the way that the wine appears when you first look at it. You want to do as little as possible to affect the taste and look of the wine.

Evaluate The Appearance

When the wine is first poured, take time to look at it first. Hold the glass up, looking through the wine in the light. This will help you see the true color of the wine. If you swirl the wine a bit, you'll see any varying shades in it as well. Then, look straight down into the glass. The darker the color, the deeper the wine flavor. As red wines get older, the color shifts from red to an orange-red, almost brick-like color. White wines, on the other hand, will shift from the light yellow color to a more golden shade. The deeper the color, the older the wine.

Consider The Aroma

When you swirl the wine in the glass, take time to smell it as well. Swirling wine will help to bring out those different aromas. Think about what you smell in the wine, whether it's hints of oak or berry in a red wine, or even citrus in the white wine. Smell it several times and try to pick up on the more subtle hints in it as well as the most forward aroma.

Sample Slowly

When you finally taste the wine, do it slowly. Take a very small sip and let the wine roll over your tongue. Think about what you taste, whether it's sweetness or fruitiness in that first initial taste. Then, once you swallow the wine, think about what flavors linger. That can give you an introduction into the more subtle flavors of the wine.

Contact a business like Anderson Valley Wineries for more information on tastings or purchasing wines.