A beginner’s guide to wine tasting

Wine tasting is one of the most popular pastimes around the world, but many don’t understand what it involves or why people are so enamored with it.

If you’re wondering the same thing, the experts at Paso Robles Winery are here to answer your questions. This guide will help you understand everything about wine tasting, including how to go about it, its cultural history, and why there are so many different kinds of wine in the world.

The more you know about this widespread practice, the more likely you are to fall in love with this pastime, just like countless others already have. And the more informed you’ll be when shopping for wine in future!

Early wine tasting

Wine tasting, or wine evaluation, is a very old practice. It is a social ritual stemming back to the days of Biblical times. Extremely popular in ancient China and Greece, wine tasting has exploded in popularity over the last decade.

It dates back thousands of years to an era before science became a part of this process. For millennia, man went by the senses to determine whether a beverage is safe to consume. Only the rich had access to quality wine, which merchants sold at a cost that the vast majority of the population could not afford.

Today, it is one of the primary ways humans determine whether or not a wine is good and worth drinking. With its popping up at weddings, bars, and even with dinner at home, thousands of adults get to enjoy wine tasting events.

How is wine tasting conducted?

Before you can do wine tasting, you must first understand how to do it properly. If you drink a glass of wine and concentrate on its flavors, you may notice that you perceive different tastes at different times. Aromas seem to build up in intensity and then fade away.

In fact, it’s entirely possible to detect over 20 aroma compounds in one glass of wine. As a result, when tasting wine, people often spread out their sensory perceptions over time.

There are five basic steps involved in wine tasting. First, evaluate color. It is important to make sure that you can see subtle differences between reds and whites, etc. You also want to take note of depth and clarity as well as the intensity of both hue and brilliance. Next, smell it and pay attention to not only what odors are present but how intense they are.

Why do people love wine tasting parties?

Some people love wine, and what better way to find out more about it than to have a glass with friends while discussing all its intricacies. It can be very interesting as there are so many things that can affect how a person feels when tasting a specific wine. It is also just fun to spend time with friends and enjoy good food and drink in an effortless and carefree manner.

Wine tasting isn’t just for the rich. People of all ages and backgrounds love wine-tasting parties, which is why they’re so popular at weddings, bachelorette parties, family reunions, and any other special occasion. So whether you’re looking to host a casual get-together with friends or a formal affair for family members, wine tasting is sure to be a hit.

For a more immersive and educational experience, you can also book vineyard tours or visit a winery, like McLaren Vale wineries, to sample their wines.

How do you taste different wines at one time?

When you have the opportunity to taste multiple wines, keep an open mind and pay attention to your tongue. While no steadfast rule dictates how many wines you should drink at one time, more is certainly better. So much of the enjoyment of wine tasting comes from the discovery of a new taste or flavor.

There are also different vantage points a wine taster will take during a tasting:

  1. When you look at a wine and swish it around in your mouth, savoring its taste.
  2. When you swirl your glass to oxygenate and bring out more aromas.
  3. After you swallow, breathing out through your nose to get an aftertaste of what just went down your throat.

It’s important to pair your different wines with different foods – so remember to try them in combination with a meal.

Now that you know what wine tasting is, have you ever attended a wine tasting event or bought wine for your own personal consumption based on its description? If so, did it taste as good as expected or better? Maybe now is the time for you to try this age-old practice. 

Photo by Caroline Attwood