Tips on how to Taste Wine Like a Professional

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Have you ever sat in a nice restaurant and watched bemused as the waiter pours you a small drop of wine to taste? If you’re unsure whether to gargle, spit or simply swallow and nod then you need these tips; they’ll have you tasting wine like a professional in no time.

Photo by Christopher John Pratt on Unsplash

Don’t forget that red wine should be served at room temperature whilst white needs to be chilled. If you’re ordering white it should come in a suitable chilled container to ensure it stays chilled. In fact, if you’re interested in bringing out the flavor properly you should read this post and invest in your own wine cooler for home use.

It is worth noting that wine tasting is about finding a wine that you like. There is no right or wrong answer as everyone has different taste buds. But, to ensure you get the flavor right you need to understand some basic tips:

Know The Order

When tasting multiple wines you should always start with the lightest and move up to the heaviest. This means starting with sparkling wines, moving to roses, light whites and then heavier whites. Finally you should take on the light red wines, the full bodied ones and the dessert wines.

If tasting this many it is a great idea to take a sip of water between each tasting. This will ensure your palate is clear to appreciate the next wine.


Hen sampling wines you want less than an inch in your glass. This is enough to appreciate the aroma but not enough to ruin your palate for other wines.

It is worth noting that a good wine glass will bend inwards slightly to allow these aromas to hit your nose properly.


Before sipping your wine you need to hold the glass up; this will guide you regarding the color of the wine.

A white wine should be clear when young; as it ages it will start to yellow. This will help you to tell if it is as fresh as you think it is.

A red does the opposite. A fresh red wine will be a deep red or burgundy color. As it ages this will fade to a hint of brown; especially at the rim.

If you are sampling several wines it can be interesting to hold them all up and note the impressive array of color differences.

The Aroma

Swirl your glass several times; this will allow the wine to breathe and the aroma of the wine to emerge. Again, there is no right or wrong aroma. You’ll either like it or you won’t.

But, with a little practice you will start to be able to pick out the aroma of flowers, berries and other characteristics.

The Taste

Finally you need to take some of the wine in your mouth; it’s tasting time! You should take just enough to half fill your mouth. It is important to swish the wine round your mouth; this will allow the tastes of the wine to appear on your tongue.

You need to take note of as many of these as possible; such as sweetness or whether it is fruity. At this point you can swallow to take note of any lingering tastes and decide if you like the wine.

If not, you’ll need to start all over again!

It is worth noting that when you re sampling multiple wines it is not rude to spit it back out in order to keep your palate as clear as possible for the next one. Just make sure you do it in an appropriate container.

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