Wine Tasting Tips

Wine Tasting Tips

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You’ve finally decided to indulge in a wine tasting, but you’re a bit nervous on how to prepare for the event? Well, we’re here to help make your wine tasting an experience you’ll never forget. We’ve gathered a list of wine tasting tips from experts of the magazine Wine Spectator so you can be ready for your very first wine tasting!

1. Don’t Wear Perfume
If you’re the type of person who never leaves the house without perfume, you’re going to have to forgo the scents for your wine tasting event. The sense of smell is one of the most important when it comes to an event like this, so any distractions at all are not advisable. It’s also respectful to other participants as perfumes can distract other guest’s sense of smell as well.

2. Dress Appropriately
It may seem a bit of a mundane tip, but if you want to fully enjoy your wine tasting evening you will want to wear something that makes you feel at ease. For example, a practical tip is to wear comfortable shoes. Make sure there is full circulation to your feet as you will be in one place for a long period of time during the wine tasting. Other practical tips are to tie your hair back, wear a purse that you can sling across your shoulders so you can have your hands free, and last but not least – wear dark colors. It’s your first wine tasting – you don’t want to ruin your light colored clothes with red wine stains!

3. Eat Before
It seems like an obvious one but the best thing to do before a wine tasting is to eat something. You never know if food will be served, though most likely there will be some nibbles. You do want to be on the safe side though because nibbles are not enough to absorb the alcohol content that you will be consuming throughout the night.

4. Have a Plan
The golden rule of the tastings is – always be prepared. It’s always a good to have an idea of what kind of wines you’d like to taste. You won’t be able to taste them all so having an idea of which wines are top of your list is always a good idea!
Ideally you should start with lighter wines – something bubbly – and gradually work your way up to dry whites, young reds and then end with a rich, tannic wine. Not only will this sequence help you stay sober longer, but it is also the best order to get the most out of the flavors and aromas of the wines.

5. Remember to Spit
During the wine tasting you can’t expect to actually drink all of the wines you are served, therefore learn to spit gracefully. Don’t be too concerned about whether you’re doing it right or not though because it is part of the game. On each table you will find special spittoons which you should use. If it’s the first time, you may want to practice at home.

6. Take Notes
During the evening you will taste so many different varieties and, that you may not remember what makes each one so special. What fascinated you on your first sip, will certainly be a distant memory when you’re on the your sixth and seventh sip and you may regret not writing down your exact impression that your wine had on the palate. You will be introduced to so many flavors and tastes that confusion is almost a certainty.

7. Be Prepared for Teeth Stains
When you drink too much red wine, you often find yourself with unsightly stains on your teeth. If you want to avoid ending the evening with pursed lips trying to hide your smile, drink conscientiously and remember to always have a little bit of water after tasting red wine. You may want to carry a pack of chewing gum with you which you can have at the end of the evening.

8. Ask Questions
One of the most interesting moments of the evening may just be the conversations with the wine producers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask them to tell the story behind the bottle that’s about to be uncorked before your eyes. The story is the true essence of a tasting. Keep in mind though that you shouldn’t monopolize all of the attention. All of the other wine tasters most likely have just as many questions as you do!

Enjoy!