Whether you are watching a movie on a Friday night or going out partying with friends, a glass of wine is a good way to relax. Drinking wine is known to help a person get a positive feeling, especially during stressful times. Yes, when drunk in the right amount, wine makes a person feel good, not to mention its health benefits.

But if you are not a wine lover yet, you can start exploring it through a wine tasting. This is greatly helpful so you can determine which type of wine you would love the most. If you love traveling, getting a taste of a local wine will give you a totally great experience. Try to check the online travel agency MustGo so you can be guided where to get the best wines in the world.

The marriage between food and travel will no doubt fuel your thirst for excitement and new experiences which includes tasting exotic food, local delicacies, and wine tasting. So whether you are just starting out with the swirling and sniffing, or are somehow in the intermediary level in wine tasting, here are eight practical tips for you to enjoy your wine even more.

1.   A small amount is smart

If you are a beginner and you catch yourself in a wine tasting activity, or you are perhaps invited to try some wine, it is smart to pour yourself only a small amount. It is particularly respectful, especially when it is something you might end up disliking.

 2.   Stop and see

Your nose and taste buds are important in this whole wine tasting adventure. However, taking note of how your wine looks is also very crucial. Older red wines, for example, tend to be darker in color while leaving stains or coloration at the bottom of your glass. Meanwhile, younger wines are almost even.

Another thing to look out for is the absence of bubbles in your wine. If it is not a sparkling wine or champagne on your hand, then those bubbles are definitely out of place. It may be a sign that your wine has deteriorated or gone bad.

 3.   Swirl, smell, swirl, repeat

It is important that you know what type of smell in a wine that you like. A huge factor in getting satisfaction with your wine and the whole process of wine tasting is to evaluate if the smell of it is something you prefer. Most of the time, the smell or odor of something takes precedence as to its taste. Swirling your wine before taking a sip aerates it and releases even more new aromas that will give you a general idea about that wine.

 4.   Swirl and maybe spit?

In wine tasting activities, spitting the wine, particularly if there is a “spittoon” may be done discreetly and in a respectful manner. This is done to avoid getting drunk, particularly if it is an opportune time to try various wines. Spitting may also help you be as impartial as you can during the entire tasting by clearing your buds before trying another wine. However, swallowing is also an option, especially if you prefer the taste of a particular wine.

5.   Cleanse your palate

Wine tasting activities or even gatherings have snacks or food that may help clear your palate for the next wine. Palate cleansers are there to help you enjoy wine tasting. Bland or plain crackers and bread are good options to eat in between wines. These will help absorb flavors from previous wines and act like a sponge. Anything flavored or too salty may affect your palate, and so it is best to try something that will refresh your taste buds and prepare you for your next glass of wine.

6. Understanding what you taste

There are several things that your tongue will detect during wine tasting, and so it is helpful to understand what plays around your tongue during these activities. It will make you appreciate your preferences more and help you step up your game in your future wine ventures.

Some of the things you might detect in your wine are:

  • Sweetness – this is determined by the sugar left after fermentation. It may also be determined by the alcohol, fruit taste, or the level of acidity in the wine;
  • Acidity – there are various types of acids in wines but generally, the acidity of the wine gives it its fresh or sharp taste and provides tingling sensations inside your mouth. Acidity may also conceal sweetness;
  • Tannin – this is what causes the dry, sometimes acrid or bitter aftertaste in your mouth after sipping or drinking wine. This is an organic substance that is present in the barks, stems, or skins of the grapes.

7.  Preparation is crucial

Check out the places that conduct wine tasting ahead of time, if you want to know their schedules and arrangements. Although there may be wineries, wine stores, or tasting shops that accept walk-ins, it is better to prepare ahead and make an appointment.

Budgeting is also crucial since most wineries or wine tasting shops require wine enthusiasts to pay a fee for wine tasting parties or events. Set aside your budget for this endeavor ahead.

It is also a great idea to research not just what restaurants, hotels, or wineries offer wine tasting events but also whatever works for you—your budget, the location, and the wines available.

8.  Asking and learning should never end

After all the sniffing, swirling, and tasting, learning about wines should never end especially if the goal is towards becoming the next sommelier. However, even if wine tasting or drinking is just a hobby, or perhaps you are truly passionate about wine, studying more about it will open a lot of beautiful doors and open even more beautiful corks that will later lead to more great wine.

Familiarizing yourself with the different types of wines, the jargons of wine tasting, food pairings, etc. may still be quite a feat for a newbie but in time, the sight, the smell, and the taste might be as familiar as the back of your hand.

Richard Cole

Richard Cole is a Marketing and Content Manager at MustGo.com and has been working in the Digital Marketing industry since 2002. He writes about marketing, lifestyle, travel and everything else in between. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.