Wine tasting is simply a process applied to distinguish the taste of fine wines. One must be able to note the differences between different types of wines and for expert tasters, also the differences between the vintages of the same class of wine. Sometimes the tasting is called wine de gustation. The most important part of any tasting is the ‘what and How’. The what, refers to what you’re looking for, the brand and type. While the how determines origin and fermentation process.
The first thing to do in any wine tasting is to look. Always start by pouring the wine into a clean clear glass, then taking a few minutes to look at the color. You should know that the color for white wine is not white, but actually yellow, green, or brown. On the other hand Red wines are normally a pale red or dark brown color. Red wine taste better with age, while white wine stale with age.
The next step is the smell. A good whiff will give you an impression of what to expect from the wine when you taste it. Please take note of the aroma, is it fresh or foul? And again does it smell like wine. Take time to think about the smell before tasting it.
The first step in tasting is to take a small sip. The small sip allows our mouth to get a quick preview and some expectations. Only after the sip approval do we take in a mouth full and swish. Swishing gives a better full taste of the flavor of the wine. It is normally during swishing, that you discover if the wine is bitter, salty or sweet. Severe cold do affect your taste bud and tasting under the influence of one will make the taste appear different.
The last step is to decide if you want to spit or swallow the wine. Personally, I swallow the wine considering all the efforts. If this is the only wine or one of two or three you will sample at the event, swallowing is definitely an appropriate option. But on the other hand, if you are at a winery and going through 5 or 6 wines, spitting is usually your best option.
Otherwise, every wine is going to start tasting funny because of all the different brands and you might end up drunk as well. Remember when you drink different types of alcohol like mixing vodka and rum, you get drunk faster, same theory applies here.
Tasting will also reveal other pertinent nuances about the wine. You should be able to tell if the flavor is derived from the aging barrel or oak chips. You also can tell about the sweetness or bitterness.
Wine tasters do follow some general guidelines and rules that judge how great a wine is. It is these techniques that can help you bring the most out of your wine, providing you follow them and know how to bring out the taste.
After all, the real test is did you like it. Tasting wine requires some protocols as listed above, but the most important part is for you to enjoy yourself.