4 Tips to Taste Wine Like a Pro

4 Tips to Taste Wine Like a Pro

by McWilliam's Wines, 14 June 2017

4 Tips to Taste Wine Like a Pro

If you’re interested in how to taste wine, here are some easy tips that you can do to really get the most out of your glass.

1. STAY HYDRATED

Super simple to do – just drink water more often than you normally do. Your nose has lots of tiny aroma receptors in mucous membranes and they can shrink up when you’re all dried out. Also, you lose saliva when you drink/spit wine so remember: a moist a tongue is a happy tongue!

2. SMELL EVERYTHING

Smelling and ‘filing’ scents is important so you can recall them when you are tasting a wine. Smell your fresh blackberries, get your face right in there when you’re baking, and go nuts at a farmer’s market.

→  RELATED: Top Tips on Decanting

3. PRACTICE THINKING

The trick to this one is to just ask yourself questions and not try to over analyse. Instead of searching your brain for the EXACT aroma or taste you’re experiencing, just ask yourself simple questions to guide yourself there. For example, we know that the wine is fruity and it smells like there is a sweetness to it, and it sort of just smells purple. Is it a berry, cherry, or plum smell that’s purple? It’s really hard to come up with the bulls-eye on your own so asking questions is easier and gets you to practice thinking.

4. COUNT THE 5 BASIC TRAITS ON YOUR HAND

Sweetness, Acidity, Tannin, Alcohol, Body. Sweetness is easy to identify because we’ve all had sweet things in our mouth before – we hope so anyway. Acidity can be tricky but this is just measured by your mouth watering after you take a sip. Suck on a lemon and pay attention to what your mouth does. That’s acidity. Practice Acidity with Sauvignon Blanc. Tannin is the dry feeling around the roof of your mouth and your gums. Think of black tea. Alcohol will make the wine feel weighty in your mouth, and have a slight heat or burn. Body goes in tandem with alcohol and tannin levels and is more a ‘feeling’. Imagine drinking whipping cream vs. skim milk.

Those are some BASIC tips to get you on your way to appreciating wine. Enjoy!

Try out your new tasting tips on our new McW 660 Reserve Range.


This is an edited version of a story that first appeared on She Querces.


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Since 1877, when founder Samuel McWilliam first planted vines on the banks of the Murray River in New South Wales, the McWilliam family have produced six consecutive generations of exceptional winemakers.

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