How to Taste Wine Like a Pro

The most crucial element of tasting wine like an expert? Do not ever stick out your pinkie finger, take a sip, and after that start speaking poetically about all of the obscure subtleties you view in the liquid. Seriously. You’ll look and sound absurd, and even worse, pompous. And despite that old-school reputation for snobbery and judginess that sommeliers and red wine pros have historically had, that’s just not how the vast majority roll any longer.

Now that we can continue with our cumulative pinkie fingers and pretensions securely hid, the concern stays: How do you taste white wine like a pro? : Why would you desire to? After all, there’s no formalized routine that many people go through when drinking most other drinks, so why exists so much swirling and sniffing and spitting when it concerns fermented grape juice?
Glasses of various wine
The answer is fairly easy: Because wine possesses such a wide range of taste and aroma compounds that you want to do whatever in your power to optimize your perception of the broadest possible swath of them. Which suggests—- you thought it—- swirling, sniffing, and the rest.

Once the red wine is poured, you’ll want to swirl it in your glass, tracing little circles with the base in order to create a little wine whirlpool in the bowl. It brings oxygen into the wine, which will help open it up, permitting it to more totally express itself. The second advantage is creating a great layer of red wine around the inside of the bowl, which offers your nose more surface location from which to perceive aroma.

When you’ve smelled the white wine (integrating a mix of short, sharp smells and deep inhales), then it’s time to slurp. Technique is essential here: You don’t wish to do your finest impression of the guy in the old Listerine commercial, swishing everything around your mouth. Initially, that looks absurd, and 2nd, because it’ll overwhelm your taste buds with tannin (if any), acid, and the rest. Rather, take a little sip, make a face like you’re going to whistle (to put it simply, purse your lips), and draw air in over the red wine on your tongue, so that it flutters in between it and your soft palate. This will toss the layers of the wine’s tastes into even sharper relief, allowing you to see if it’s flawed in any way, and also to more completely value the nuances it offers.

The final step is generally just reserved for professionals who are tasting lots of wines side by side, which is spitting. There are days when I begin tasting before nine in the morning, and if I didn’t spit, I ‘d be a blithering mess by lunchtime. Spitting, in other words, is a key to both my expert success, and to my ability to work past twelve noon. However if you’re tasting a sensible variety of red wines, and you have no place to go afterward, there’s really no requirement to spit.

It’s the one aspect of my job that I do not like: Spitting out vehicle payments’ worth of red wine each week.

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