Ladies Guide on How to taste Wine like a Pro

Ladies Guide on How to taste Wine like a Pro
Red wine for meat, white wine for fish.


The business of tasting wine seems ripe for caricature. All professional tasters sniff and swirl, sip and gargle, and then spit – not so silly a performance when you’ve got to try fifty or sixty samples in a morning and make sound commercial decision, let alone drive a car or be coherent. Professionals also take notes, again for good commercial reasons.

For most people who are simple interested in increasing their enjoyment of wine, it is enough to give a wine our full attention for the first few moments we encounter it, and to make mental notes about what we like, eventually building up a store of pleasant memories for reference.



If you wish to go further, here is how professionals do it.

In a good light, pour an ounce or so of wine into a wineglass of at least six ounces capacity. Hold the glass up to the light or, even better, against a white surface (even a countertop will do); this is to judge the color and clarity. A white wine that is deeply colored, shading toward brown, may well be past its prime or simple spoiled; sometimes red wines have sediment floating around in them.

Recork such a wine and let it stand for a day – the sediment should fall to the bottom, and the wine will be fine after decanting.

Swirl the wine around to release its aroma (the glass should have curved sides).

Poke your nose into the glass and take a deep, short sniff. Your nose is hundreds of times more sensitive than your palate and will tell you a lot about the flavour of the wine – if it’s spoiled or off in some way, this is where you’ll find out. Then sip and, holding the wine in your mouth, slosh it around.

Some does gargle or imitate a seal, but it doesn’t necessary. This step confirms the other impressions and lets you taste the acidity and tannin, and decide finally whether the wine is balanced and harmonious. It’s actually a fairly quick and simple process.

Ladies Guide on How to taste Wine like a Pro

When we’re presented with a wine in a restaurant, we can adopt a very streamlined version to evaluate wine discreetly. Some aspects of wine rituals are based on the hazards of previous times. We are presented with a cork after the waiter pulls it to be sure that it’s sound, not rotten or crumbled, and to check that the wine is from the right producer.



A hundred years ago, corrupt merchants world put famous labels on bottles of mediocre wine, and so the famous chateaux began stamping their names onto the corks. Some people sniff the cork – the waiter may – because a lot of the faults of spoiled wine are caused by infected corks. If one end of the cork is wet, the wine has been stored properly, on its side. I usually just pick up the cork from the side of my plate where the waiter has put it, touching my fingertip to its wet end. The real test is to come, so why linger?

The waiter pours a bit of wine for the host, or person who has ordered the wine, just a splash. This is the moment that a lot of people dread, forgetting that it’s the wine that’s being judged, not them. Give the wine a swirl, then simply take a sniff. It’s worth not rushing though this bit.

Does the wine smell all right?

Are there any off odours?

The smell of eggs, rubber, vinegar, sauerkraut, burnt matches, and moldy wet newspapers can all occur from bad winemaking or a bad cork or a mold fungus loose in the winery; it happens. If you have any doubts, ask someone else at the table to have a sniff, and invite the waiter’s opinion, too. He or she may have a sniff of your glass, or get someone knowledgeable on the staff to do so. This is not in the category of “making a scene” – it’s about making sure you get a good wine. After all, you’re paying a thoroughly marked-up price for it!

Ladies Guide on How to taste Wine like a Pro

The business of having to send wine back rarely happens, by the way, but people do worry about. If the wine is spoiled, it will be obvious and there should be no problem in sending it back. Even if it’s not and you only think it is (and say so courteously), the restaurant should take it back anyway.



Similarly, if a waiter makes the wine selection, the responsibility shades a bit more toward the restaurant if you don’t approve, but it’s a good idea to provide an idea of your taste and expectations to avoid disappointment. Only if the wine were a rare bottle and very expensive, with the fault not obvious, might there be a question, but then it’s a job of a restaurant to make clear beforehand that there may be a gamble involved, and to be reasonable about judging the soundness of the wine.

Ladies Guide on How to taste Wine like a Pro

This guide will help you a lot, and remember:

A lady must know her wines.


xoxo, Blair


Share this:

91 comments :

  1. What a fantastic post full of excellent information! I am going to have some wine tonight, and have your post to refer to ready to go :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do love my red wine and I guess I should be getting some today, don't judge stressful week. It's always great to know the rules not to end up embarrassing oneself in public.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very interesting, I usually manage to get someone else to try it so I do not have to look like I don't know what I am doing. Maybe next time I will do the testing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should have a wine tasting experience. It will be a great help to add even a few knowledge about wine. And best to discover your own type.

      Delete
  4. I know so many people who love a glass of wine and absolutely love to give it a bit of a tasting session I'll have to pass these hints onto them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm not a wine drinker so I wouldn't know where to start with wine tasting. I wouldn't even know if it was a good wine or not. This is a great post for anyone who wants to start enjoying wine :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rule of wine-tasting is never get drunk. You just taste and not drink them :D

      Delete
  6. What a detailed post! Thanks for sharing this. I love the statement "A lady must know her wines"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha thanks!
      I believe that if you know your wines, it also means that you know what you want and it adds to your personality.

      Delete
  7. I'm a big craft beer fan. But I do started enjoying red wine for relaxation couple time a month. And I don't know about how to taste properly but now I do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wine tasting is a nice experience, but sometimes challenging especially if I want to drink a glass, instead of just a sip.

      Delete
  8. I would be honest. I am not really a huge fan of wines and I tried it just a couple of times.

    After reading your post, I am inclined to try it. It may possible how to drink or taste it and would love to try the tips you shared. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that is a progress! Don't worry, in wine-tasting you just have to taste it, and if you like the wine (perhaps you can grab a bottle!).

      Delete
  9. I am just into red wine. I don't know if u can call it wine. But girl I love your tips. U r awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I now know how to be a pro wine tester. Now I need a dinner date that includes lots of wine.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a great idea for wine lovers. I do love the outdoor dinner table. The garden lights and plants are spectacular. Oh the ambience is enviable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wine is best appreciated when you are outdoor, enjoying the gorgeous view while sipping your wine, and think about how wonderful it is. Of course with friends that is a huge plus!

      Delete
  12. I really should go to a wine tasting one day. Right now I don't like wine, but I probably haven't tried the right one yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is true. Have an opportunity to experience it, you'll never know maybe you will meet you favorite wine :D

      Delete
  13. Wine tasting is one of mt favorite things to do with a group of girlfriends! We almost never do it the 'professional' way, but I'll have to give it a try with your tips! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am not much of a wine drinker so I just learned a lot here

    ReplyDelete
  15. Honestly, this is really cool. I want to try all kinds of wines, especially old winery wines!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the reason why I like to visit Europe is to visit the old wineries and vineyards.

      Delete
  16. Oh my! This is so cool! I love tasting wine too and this blog post is very helpful. thanks for this! ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't actually like wine so I'd have no idea on how to taste it if I did. My parents have done a lot of wine tastings though x

    ReplyDelete
  18. The first time I tried wine tasting activity, I can't even remember how I managed to go home but since then, I enjoyed drinking wine a lot! This is a great read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh maybe you did it wrongly. Wine Tasting shouldn't make you drunk.
      Maybe you lost control :D

      Delete
  19. I have been to so many vineyards and wine tastings during my trips that now, I am the one in my family who always tastes the wine. And I love doing it. Swirling the wine in the glass releases the aromas which then you smell, and get the first hints of the wine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is great. I learn appreciating and drinking wine from my boyfriend (and from my Dad too!)
      I rather drink the whole bottle than have glasses of tequilas.

      Delete
  20. A good wine tasting guide. Might come in handy for all of us. Thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wine tasting is an art we came to know quite later in our stint as a food blogger. Now we know the drill.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a great post. I'm not really a wine fan anymore but I used to love it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, great to learn so many tips wine tasting here. I did some wine tasting in Australia when I was working there but that time I still do not know how to taste wine like a pro.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can gargle it just in order to get a good judgement!

      Delete
  24. I am a super wine fan but have never really been to a tasting before or truly been introduced to the proper way to taste it. This was very interesting to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think being a professional wine taster is one of the most exquisite profession. Your work is to judge the wine that is been made or aged for years. Oh my its my dream job!

      Delete
  25. Such a great post, I didn't know all this info and I am glad I read it. I guess there's so much more than just drinking it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When tasting wine, the goal is not to get drunk :D

      Delete
  26. This is such a great post! I've always wondered what goes on in a wine taster's performance (I always thought it was just a show....lol). I'm glad to take some notes out of this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right, and in wine tasting you can take your time, and enjoy it.

      Delete
  27. Excellent overview of the wine tasting experience. We live in wine country, and love to visit the vineyards and do tastings. When we first started going, it was a bit intimidating. After a few more winery visits though, it all became second nature.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I enjoy wine very much but I really knew nothing of how to actually do a wine tasting. You have shared so much great information, I am going to give this a try the next time I have wine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jessica! And remember, if you find that the wine is bad, don't hesitate to return it.

      Delete
  29. I have to admit that I'm not much of a wine drinker, so it is interesting to learn about these tips. I think it would be fun to do a wine tasting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can host a wine-tasting party with your gals :D

      Delete
  30. Ahhhhh-vino is my favorite and what can be better than wine tasting

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am not a wine drinker, but agree that there is definitely an art to doing the wine tasting correctly. Thank you for sharing the correct way.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I hadn't realized I should decant red wine for an entire day to let the sediment settle.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love trying new wine, but nothing is worse than ordering a bottle a restaurant and not being able to check that is good. I haven't ever done the cork test, but I'm going to ask for it now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I experienced returning wine when we dine at this bespoke restaurant, and the manager gladly let us choose another bottle. Yes sometime sit is a gamble, but that's how it is.

      And if you buying a bottle in a super marked-up price then definitely you can replace it, when it is spoiled.

      Delete
  34. I've only visited a winery once and tried their wine tasting. It was a fun experience and I highly recommend it to others. I love hearing your tips.

    ReplyDelete
  35. These are definitely good tips for being a wine taster like a pro. I know I have done some of them. Although the information about white wine spoiling is definitely something I should look out for more. The only thing I can't do with wine tasting is spit it out. I know the pros do but it just feels like it defeats the purpose to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes you have to spit it, just to avoid getting drunk while doing wine-tasting as a job :D

      Delete
    2. I know that you don't want to get drunk. But it just doesn't feel satisfying to spit it out all the same.

      Delete
  36. I am pretty good at wine tasting...haha! :-) However, these are great tips and I will definitely keep them in mind!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. What an interesting post. I have never gone wine tasting before. I would love to try it one day.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I like to have a glass of wine every now and then, but I have never been to a wine tasting before. My best friend tells me I need to go to one sometime, though. He loves them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah your friend is right, you two should experience it.

      Delete
  39. I always forget the details about wine tasting. I love wine, though! Thanks for these great tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it is overwhelming when the wine buffet is there in front of me! It's like "okay forget about tasting and let's party!" lol

      Delete
  40. Although I'm not a drinker myself, but one of my friends always try to portray she is a pro, I guess I'll share this with her. She'll definitely like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That will be great. It is nice to learn new things!

      Delete
  41. I'll try these tips next time I had a chance to drink wine. It's been a while.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I have been only to one wine tasting, and I just remembered that the presenter did not sip and spit, so maybe he was not so good at his job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe he is saving the wine - but professional wine tasters when they are in the field they do sip and spit.

      Delete
  43. For a super wine fan like me, this post is blissful. Going to bookmark this and taste wine like a pro next time

    ReplyDelete
  44. Wow, nice post... :) Thanks for sharing... :) I don't drink wine but this post is a damn helpful for those who drink wine.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can just taste and know the wine, and not drink it :D There are many professional wine tasters that doesn't really wine drinkers.

      Delete
  45. I love wine as much as I love beer, vodka, and whisky. Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! What is your favorite wine and from what region?

      Delete

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any partner brands/company(s), beauty & lifestyle brands, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities, unless specified.
 
Copyright © for urban women | travel & lifestyle blog .