SEE: While the least informative part of the assessment, one can deduce come clues as to the grape type and age of thawing through sight.
SWIRL: This does more than just make you look super cool. It actually volatilizes the alcohol and aromas of the wine to help carry them to the dime sized patch of nerves responsible for smell, the olfactory epithelium. Swirl for 6 seconds.
SMELL: Quite possibly the most important step of testing. It is at this stage that one can tell if a wine is flawed and really get a great idea of the grape type. With your nose in the glass, you smell the wine’s aroma. As you pull the glass away from the nose, you smell its bouquet.
SIP: Now, the real fun begins – smelling is fine, but drinking is better! At this point, it is important to recall that we aren’t drinking, just tasting. So, just draw enough wine into your mouth to be able to spread it all around – about .25 – .5 oz.
SWISH: One of the biggest differences between taking and drinking. Basically, pretreat that the wine is mouthwash and get it all over the surfaces of your mouth. This will help you assess the structure of the wine an deduce its origin. For example, if you feel a prickle on the end of your tongue, the wine contains sugar.
SPIT: In a professional environment, we taste too many wines to swallow them all and still be able to be helpful, so we prefer to expectorate. However, most of the time, we prefer to swallow!