How to impress your friends in the tasting room

September 28th, 2012

Posted in Wine Trivia

Next time you find yourself in the tasting room, don’t just drink the wine, experience it. That is what the tasting room is about, not just drinking. If you want to impress your friends while in the tasting room, employ these 5 tips:

Tip #1: Remember the 5 S’s

  • See: Look at the wine, tilt your glass and notice the color, clarity, viscosity…etc.
  • Swirl: Move your glass in a circular motion to allow some oxygen to mix with the wine.
  • Sniff: Smell the wine. Allow this one sense to experience the wine.
  • Sip: Take a small sip.
  • Savor: Hold the wine in your mouth for a few seconds, then swallow.

Tip #2: Hold the glass by the stem

Hold the glass by the stem, unless the glasses don’t have stems, but most tasting rooms use traditional glasses. You want to avoid getting the glass smudged with your fingerprints so that you can see the wine in the glass. Also, cupping the bowl of the glass could alter the taste due to the temperature of your hand (yes very slightly, but still, better safe than sorry!).

Tip #3: Ask questions

Ask the people pouring the wine questions about it.

  • What do you think about this one?
  • What would you pair with this wine?

They are the experts so when they give you a well crafted answer you can just agree and look like you totally understand what they’re talking about.

Tip #4: Be honest

Don’t be afraid to say what you actually think about the wine. Taste is subjective, if you don’t like the way a wine tastes, say so! And explain- respectfully. If you don’t appreciate the oaky taste of Chardonnay, say so. This will allow the person pouring your wine to recommend something more tailored to your tastes. Even if you don’t like it, do not spit out the wine! The first taste and the aftertaste all play in to the overall flavor of the wine. If you spit it out, you’re missing out on part of the experience.

Tip #5: Know the difference between dry & sweet

Do you like sweet wine? Typically the sweeter the wine, the warmer the climate it came from. A dry wine means there is an absence of sugar. It has become a trend among the younger generations to drink sweet wines like a Muscat grape, but older generations tend to favor the dry. We’ve often heard people say too sweet a wine gives them headaches. What do you prefer?