How to Taste Wine


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

how to taste wine
Do you know how to taste wine?

Best way to taste wine –  easy steps

You are in a tasting room, and the server pours a small amount of wine in your glass. Now, what? Discover the secrets and techniques of wine tasting. Following these wine tasting steps and you will look like a wine pro. Wine tasting is not a hard thing to do. 

One helpful tip is to use the tasting notes provided by the winery. We hope that the winemaker authored the notes and not a PR person.

Look at the wine – Appearance

Take a look at the color of the wine. Look for the clarity of the wine and the brilliance of the color. The wines will vary in their intensity of color. Hold the glass towards the light. 

Smell the wine – aroma

Swirl the wine in your glass by rotating your wrist. Swirling takes a little practice. Most people have trouble at first because they are moving their entire arm to swirl the glass. The key is in the wrist. Rotate the wrist while holding the rest of the arm still. The swirling of the glass releases the aroma of the wine to the top edge of the glass.

Place your nose just over and the side of the wine glass. Keep your mouth open. The aromas should bounce off this edge straight up the nostrils. Take an intense sniff. Identify any familiar smells. Repeat, but rest your aroma senses for 10 seconds before you try again.

Taste the wine

After smelling the wine, it is time to take a sip. Roll it over your tongue for several seconds before swallowing. Exhale through your nose as you swallow. Your taste buds and sense of smell will work together.

On the second sip, try swishing the wine around in the mouth and then swallow and exhale through your nose. Some tasters chew the wine in their mouths. Try each and see what works best for you.

The aftertaste – the finish

Excellent wines have a long-lasting finish. Once you swallow the wine, measure how much the wine lingers in your mouth and nose. We love a wine that has a long and lingering aftertaste.

More wine tasting tips

  • Take a look at the “Easy Wine Scoring Card” to help you sort through the steps in tasting wine.
  • Check out our chart on “Wine Varietals.” This will give you a brief description of the aromas and tastes found in the common varietals.
  • If doing a wine tasting at home, use the correct wine glasses.

Watch wine pro Pascal Wagner show you how to taste wine like a pro

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  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

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