How to Taste Wine Like a Sommelier

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Hey there wine taster! Welcome to the beginning of an amazing journey through the world of wine. Today I want to help you learn how to stop DRINKING wine and start tasting wine.

What’s the big difference between drinking wine and tasting wine? Your whole life, you’ve been drinking it (or...I guess...you’ve been drinking it since you’ve been ALLOWED to). You might swirl it around, smell it a bit, and take a sip. You determine that you like it or dislike it, but that’s about it. You’re not making your brain work too hard to think about what exactly it is that you’re tasting and why you like or dislike it. And because of that, you’re not doing yourself any favors if you are interested in becoming a better wine taster (and wine enthusiast in general).

From this moment forward, I want you to dig deeper and really THINK about the wine in front of you. Really look at it. Really smell it and try to pick out 3-5 things you specifically smell. If you smell something sweet, dig deeper. If you smell something fruity, dig deeper. What kind of fruit? Is it tart, ripe, jammy, or dried? Then taste your wine, and really explore what it is that you’re tasting. How is the mouthfeel? How long does the wine linger? (So many questions!)

It might be really hard at first as a beginner wine taster (do you often just smell “wine”?), but practice is all you need to get better! One of the easiest ways to get over the “I smell wine” hurdle I so often come across with students is to smell and taste two wines side by side. Your brain may not know exactly what is different about the two, but it will be able to distinguish at least that there IS a difference. From there, you can continue training your brain to eventually pick out specific aromas and flavors that are going on in whichever glass is in front of you.

Check out the video below for the exact wine tasting process I teach to beginners. Then, start practicing as much as you can! (wink wink)

Cheers!