To fully appreciate the complexity of wine, use your senses: sight, smell and taste, Use the five "S’s" guidelines for tasting: see,
swirl, sniff, sip and savor.

See, and note the color and clarity of the wine.

Swirl, the wine in the glass to release the distinctive scent of the grape variety expressed in it.

Sniff, by bringing the wine glass close to your nose and smell it. The nose makes thousands of discriminations.   

Sip, by sipping a small amount and hold the wine in your mouth.  Gently draw air through your teeth to direct aromas to the nasal
passages.
Note any tartness or sweetness.  Four sensations - sweet, sour, bitterness and salt - are all perceived through taste.  
Temperature, tannins (astringency) and the effervescence (bubbles) of sparkling wines are also experienced through the sense
of touch in the mouth.

Savor, and enjoy.
Basics of Wine Tasting
      Red Wine Evaluation Terms:

  • Floral: rose, geranium, violets
  • Body:  compare light to medium to heavy, as if skim milk to whole milk to heavy cream.
  • Red Fruit:  strawberry, cherry, plum, currant, blackberry, prune, blueberry.
  • Oak Flavors:  toast, smoke, spice, vanilla, cedar, bacon, oak.
  • Earthy Flavors:  mushrooms, fungus, dirt, leather, forest floor, barnyard.
  • Other:  chocolate, mint, eucalyptus, cola, tobacco, tar.
  • Finish:  Length of time taste lingers(the longer the better).
  • Balance:  all factors are well integrated.
     White Wine Evaluation Terms:


  • Floral: honeysuckle, jasmine, peach blossom.
  • Body:  compare light to medium to heavy.
  • Tree fruit:  apple, pear, apricot, peach
  • Citrus Fruit:  lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, tangerine.
  • Tropical Fruit: pineapple, kiwi, melon, star fruit, banana, coconut.
  • Oak Flavors:  toast, smoke, spice, vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, nuts.
  • Other:  yeasty, mineral, herbs, white pepper, grass.
  • Finish:  length of time taste lingers(the longer the better).
  • Balance:  all factors are well integrated.
For The Distinctive Epicurean and Wine Enthusiast
Chef   & Vintner
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Map of Tongue Tasting sensory points
Private Wine Society
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