How to Taste Wine in 6 Easy Steps

Wine is easy to glug, but when you swallow it by the mouthful, you’re missing out on all the nuances, flavors, and textures that make this drink such a classic. With a little know-how, it’s not too hard to taste wine like an expert.

You will need

  • 1 Bottle of wine
  • 2 Appropriate glassware (when purchasing, know that reds and whites should be served in different glasses: red wine glasses are squat and have deeper bowls, while white wine glasses are thinner and taller)
  • 3 A notebook, if you feel studious


Uncork the wine and pour a small amount into your glass – about two ounces, or about a quarter of the way full, is fine.


Look the wine over. Noting the color and viscosity with your eyes will lend some important clues as to how the wine tastes.


Take a whiff: this is called “in glass” by professional tasters, and it’s the step during which the aroma is noted. Don’t be shy—experts stick their noses deep into the glass in order to pick up complex nuances. The first aromas to hit the nose are associated with aspects of the grapes, while later aromas are connected to the winemaking process and how the wine aged.


Take a small sip of wine, and let the taste mingle over your palate. Don’t swallow right away: roll the wine around your mouth with your tongue to notice the different flavors.


Now, swallow. Wait a moment and try to note the aftertaste, which is likely different than how it tasted when your first sipped.


Draw some conclusions: was this wine too acidic? Too sweet? Too alcoholic? Most importantly, do you like it? If you want to be a true connoisseur, you should write down notes in a notebook or designated wine journal. Record the winery, the grape variety, the year, and your thoughts.