Just follow the 5 S’s: sit, sight, swirl, smell, and sip.
Just bought a bottle online without ever trying it? After your first pour, here’s how to properly taste-test your new bottle of wine from our resident wine expert, Kelly Mitchell:
Pour a splash into your glass and let it sit for a few seconds. The wine needs a moment to breathe and unveil its true flavor and aroma after being bottled for a year (or more).
Appearance can tell you a lot about a wine’s intensity. Darker usually means bolder; lighter colors can indicate a crisper finish.
A quick swirl allows the wine to really come alive. Exposure to oxygen opens up its most prominent aromas and flavors.
A simple sniff prepares your palate for what you’re about to taste by revealing fruit-forward aromas like cherry, citrus, or raspberry. You might also detect secondary flavors like oak or spice.
Take a few small sips and notice how flavors land on your tongue. If it’s a red, you should pick up red or black fruits like berries, plus spices and earthy and savory notes. With whites, it will likely be more citrus-forward. Then, pay attention to the finish (that’s how the flavor lingers in your mouth). Ideally, it’s nice and long.
Whether you’re drinking with friends and family or sipping solo, our young, celebratory wines should be savored within a few days of opening.
Kelly Mitchell is an independent wine consultant and educator. She is a wine specialist and sales person, educating consumer audiences on various wine topics and is recognized by the most elite wine buyers and sommeliers as a knowledgeable wine professional.
What is a sommelier?
|A sommelier is a certified wine professional. The word itself is French and means “wine steward.” Sommeliers often work in high-end restaurants and specialize in wine service, creating wine lists for restaurants, and pairing wines with foods based on their flavor profiles. They can sometimes be found on the restaurant floor, providing their service to restaurant patrons. Becoming a certified sommelier takes months, or even years. The highest certification level is a Master Sommelier, and there are only a couple hundred Master Sommeliers worldwide.|