Drinking, like eating, is an experience that should engage all the senses. Starting with your basic senses (look, smell and taste) you will learn to taste wine. Keep in mind that you can smell thousands of unique scents, but your taste perception is limited to salty, sweet, sour and bitter. It is the combination of smell and taste that allows you to discern flavor.
1. LOOK: Check out the color, clarity and viscosity.
Tilt your glass at a 45-degree angle against a white background. Look straight down into the glass. The first thing to examine is the color because some grapes can also be identified by their colour and this will give you an idea of how dense and saturated the wine is.
2. SMELL: Swirling releases the aromas.
To get a good impression of your wine's aroma, swirl your glass for a solid 10-12 seconds and then take a quick whiff to gain a first impression.
Breath in through your nose, and sometimes closing your eyes even helps with the concentration and focus on smelling. You will pick up all sorts of aromatic compounds - fruits, flowers, herbs, spices etc. - and these will tell you about the wine.
For red wines you might pick up fruits like strawberries, blackcurrants or cherries. White wines should have some fruit aromas on the nose.
3.TASTE: Two elements make up taste, flavor and structure.
Taste the wine and allow it to fill your mouth. Ask yourself what flavours you can detect, and what sensations you are getting.
Don't gulp down the wine, but take a small sip. Hold the wine in your mouth for a moment, then suck air through it to aerate it.
Now that you have learned to taste wine properly, you can match the right food to the right wine. Stay tuned to know some tips about wine and food pairing!