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Wine Tasting Guide | How to Taste Wine Properly

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If you have been ever asked over on a wine tasting party and that you passed up going because you aren’t familiar with all things wine or even tasting it, then you might benefit from a wine tasting guide.

Wine tasting isn’t about those kinds of people doing the classic cliché in wine tasting, which is sip, swill and spit, but you’ll see that wine tasting can be a lot of fun as well as informative.

Earlier this spring my husband and I attended a wine tasting and sampling at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York.  The Finger Lakes are known for the vineyards and wine trails.

I also had the opportunity recently to review a magnificent book on Great Wines Under $20.  (Put this on your Gift List for the holidays, or as a special gift for your favorite foodie!)

Wine Tasting Party Ideas

So, here is some step by step information on how to taste wine that will be able to help you whenever you are in this kind of situation. By consulting a wine tasting guide and knowing how to taste wine properly, you will definitely enjoy wine tasting parties more and you will also not feel and look lost in the party.

Wine Tasting Guide

The first step is to observe the wine by sight. To do so, you need to pick up the glass. There are basically a couple of ways to do this.

If you are served with a chilled wine, you should pick up the wine glass on its stem and not by the bowl.

The reason for this is that the palm of your hands is warm. This will warm the wine quickly and will ruin its natural taste. So, if you are served with a chilled wine, never pick it up by the bowl. Don’t even think about touching the bowl.

If you are served with room temperature wine, then you can hold the glass on bowl.

However, as much as possible, you should still pick it up by the stem even if the wine is served in room temperature.

After you picked up the glass and is now in your hand, the next step is by examining the wine by sight.

Do this by holding it slightly at an angle and should be against a white background. If the host of the party knows what wine tasting is all about, he or she should cover the table with white linen. This doesn’t only look pretty, but it will also serve its purpose where you will be able to examine the wine. Just remember to be aware that there is wine in the glass and you should avoid spilling it by tipping the glass too far.

The bouquet is also an important part of tasting the wine. The bouquet refers to the smell of the wine and you might even hear people refer to it as the “nose”.

To properly smell the wine, you need to your hand holding the wine at a level position.

Then, swirl the wine gently inside the bowl. The idea to this act is to expose air in to the wine so that the aroma will escape the wine and become trapped in the part of the bowl which is empty. Then, move the glass close to your nose and inhale deeply. Savor the aroma and inhale again. You might want to exhale after inhaling as you may feel dizzy.

After inhaling, it is the right time to comment.

If you don’t know what to say because you are inexperienced with wine, then the safest way to go is to say rich for red wine, and light for white wine.

Now for the actual tasting…

You need to keep in mind that tasting wine is not about getting plastered by guzzling everything inside the glass but should only take small sips from the glass to capture the flavor. After having wine inside your mouth, you should taste the wine by rolling it around your tongue a few times before spitting it or swallowing it slowly. Don’t forget to exhale!

That’s how it’s done.

Now that the weather’s warming up, get together with friends on the deck and throw a girl’s night out wine tasting party!

Remember these tips and you can be sure that you will have lots of fun at wine tasting parties. You need to remember that wine tasting parties doesn’t need to be boring and intimidating, but it can be a great way to socialize and even joke a bit.

After you empty the bottle of wine, check out some craft ideas to make lighted wine bottles!

For information on wine and cheese pairings, visit: Cabot Cheese Cooperative (Vermont)

© Frugal New England Kitchen

Photo Credit: mconnors

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About Moomettes

New England blogger, Grandmom from Connecticut and author of Frugal New England Kitchen where she writes about food, recipes, coupons, crafts, home decor, Grandparents and Grandchildren, Family Stories and helpful hints from the hearth of a Yankee New England Kitchen. Also find her at the multi-generational Moomettes Magnificents where she writes about family, travel, photography and reviews.

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