This is simple, right? You drink wine to taste it. Actually there is a bit more to it than that.
There are several steps to ‘tasting’ wine if you want to get the full experience of the wine. If you do these things, you will not be disappointed (unless of course you are tasting a bad glass of wine).
There are many things that go into the wine tasting experience that many people might not even thing about. For example, you really should only taste wine in certain environments. If you are surrounded by a lot of different smells (like cooking smells or perfumes, etc.) the taste of your wine may be affected. Believe it or not, lighting can also have an affect on how you perceive the wine. So can noise and crowded spaces.
If you really want to taste a wine, you should make sure you are in a calm, quiet, clean, non-odorous environment. You also need to make sure your wine glass is clean and fresh. This all may seem a bit extreme, but it can make a difference.
Of course the temperature of the wine is a huge deal. You will have to consult with a professional to see what the recommended temperature is for your wine, but the taste is significantly affected. This is just something to keep in mind.
So the first part about the wine tasting experience is looking at the wine. This will be more meaningful after you have does a few tastings, but you can tell a lot about the color of your wine. Some red wines are very dark and some are much softer in color. You can anticipate the taste by looking at the color. Same goes for white wine. If the color is light, you might expect a lighter tasting wine, but if it is a darker yellow, you might expect some oak flavor.
After looking at your wine for a while, you should then swirl it around your glass. This allows it to open up and mix with the oxygen in the air. This can transform some of the flavors and aromas of the wine. It is important to let you wine breathe so that it can develop and offer you the best flavors.
After swirling for a bit, you will then proceed to smell the wine. You will put your nose into the glass as far as you are comfortable and take a nice breath in. You will want to sit with this experience for a while. Let your mind process the flavors. They can be good or bad, but you should really try to experience the smells. Try to detect what they are.
Of course your olfactory system is tied in with your taste buds. Meaning the smell affects the taste. Smelling the wine primes you for tasting it. Don’t skip this part, it is a very important part of the experience. Learn more about smelling wine.
Now it is time to taste the wine! But you are not going to take a big gulp and swallow it right away. Instead, you need to sip just a little bit and try to let is sit in your mouth while the flavors move around. After you swallow it, reflect on what you sense. Ask yourself, what are the flavors? Is this nice? Is it strong? Does it taste like anything else? And when you think you are done evaluating then evaluate some more. The flavors in the wine may change as the settle in your mouth.
At this point, you may even want to smell the wine again. Just take your time to really experience the wine. Your experience will be very different than if you just open the bottle and take a swig. Wine is meant to be an experience, an elegant experience. Enjoy it as it is meant to be.