Wine-Tasting: A Beginner’s Guide

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti /

I have to admit that you can compare my knowledge about wine and wine tasting to Paris Hilton’s expertise on quantum physics.   The most I know about wines, is that there’s red and there’s white.  The whole world of wines is so alien to me, that I’d be so intimidated if and when I get invited to one of those wine and cheese parties.  Even if you took me to the best winery in Sonoma, the most I would let out is a resounding “Ooh!” or “Aah” from all the beauty, but I wouldn’t know any better about wines.

They say that learning the fine art of tasting wine is no different from learning to appreciate music or a piece of artwork.  You derive pleasure from the effort it takes to see the beauty in it.

So, how exactly do you taste wine?

You start off by giving the wine a good look.  Look straight down into the glass, and then hold it to the light, as you slightly tilt it.    As the wine rolls towards the edges, you’ll get to see the entire color range of the wine.  The depth of color will give you an idea of how dense or saturated that wine is.

And then, you sniff.  Swirl the glass, and have your nose hover over the top, as you take quick, short sniffs.  Step away, and let the sensation sink in.   Try to identify the various scents.  You’ll find fruit aromas, flowers, spices, etc.  But if you find that it smells like a wet newspaper, that means the wine is spoiled.

Finally, it’s time to taste.  Take a sip of wine and suck on it as if through a straw.  Here, you pick up where the aromas left off.  You determine whether the wine is balanced (there’s a good proportion of sweet, salty, sour and bitter), or complex (the flavors seem to change as you taste them).

Wine tasting is pretty much like dancing in a club: it isn’t all that intimidating, once you get the hang of it.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

Catch me on G+.


  1. Well done pepper you sound like an expert. I live my wines x

  2. I seldom drink alcohol but I appreciate wines. :)

  3. That’s exactly how my husband does it!


  4. very well written just like an expert :) the lighter the wine is the coarser it taste i like deep dark red wine it taste really good especially the one that is so smooth to the throat

  5. wow!!! ive worked before in one of the high class restaurants and we have wine cellars there. unfortunately, i do not know how to appreciate the taste of wines. lol

  6. Hahaha! Paris Hilton and quantum physics! :D

  7. I don’t appreciate wine much, unless it’s sparkling. My husband is a connoisseur, however, and he’s doing exactly what you mentioned. :)

  8. I think I would feel ridiculous standing there, wine swilling through my mouth. And the oddest things is you spit it out after tasting it! Even if it tasted good.

  9. lol on the Paris Hilton comment! And thank you for this great education. Maybe I’ll look a little more sophisticated the next time I drink a glass of wine!

  10. I do not like wine — no matter how much I try, I just don’t like it. Though, I cook with it! I trust my hubby to select the best wine for the dish. And then I ignore any whining if it doesn’t taste quite right. :)

  11. Carla Barilá Karam says

    You had me at the Paris Hilton comment! LOL! Grace, peace and blessings, Carla

  12. Love your post, and all the great info about wines!

  13. Great post! I have no idea how to chose wine. I just depend on my husband to pick the right stuff lol.

  14. Simple,to room temperature is to warm glasses or a jug with hot water, dry out and then pour the wine!

  15. Believe it or now, we had an entire semester dedicated to wine tasting back in high school, it was part of our social-etiquette subject, so I know the basics. :P That’s where I got the enthusiasm for wine, I prefer red to white but definitely don’t like dry wine. :P I’m more the dessert wine type of person, I like my wine sweet and a little tangy but not bitter. :P

    They say that wine is good for the heart, so my husband and I make it a point to drink a glass before going to bed, now if only we can help not to finish the bottle. :P hehe

Leave a Reply to Theresa Cancel reply