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How to Taste Test Your New Bottle of Wine

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:

Try wine delivery with Misfits Market


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. 

Bonus: Enjoy!

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.

Comments (12)

I’m excited about this new wine adventure! It would be very helpful to know if the wines are dry, sweet, bubbly, etc. I enjoy sweet wines, sometimes bubbly, but never dry. I don’t want to order something blind only to find out later it’s a dry wine. Thanks!

Fantastic question, Lee! We will try to keep an assortment of both dry and sweet wines. You will be able to tell which wine is which in the product description when you click on the item to view more information. We hope this helps! ????

I would like to see vegan wines added to your list. Even if your wines are sustainably grown and/or organic some wine makers use animal products. I was shocked when I first found this out- why would anyone use animal products in wine making, but it’s true. The wine bottle will have a “V” on label and indicate it is vegan friendly. There are other vegan/organic wines that do not have a “V” but if you Google the name asking if that wine is vegan, you can find out.

Hi there – we do have vegan wines! We focus on sourcing wines that are organic, use sustainable practices, are low sulfite, or are vegan. From there, we curate bundles that highlight each wine’s unique flavor profile. We hope this is helpful and that you can try some soon!

I read that as of August 2021 Alabama passed a law that allowed direct to consumer shipping of wines. I would love to sample your wines..but I’m in Alabama!

Thank you for inquiring about this, Kathryn! We’re glad to hear the laws are changing, as we’d love to be able to ship wine to you. In the meantime, we do offer a variety of non-alcoholic products that you can find in our beverage aisle. We appreciate your interest, and we hope this helps! ????

I keep getting e mails about the wine but nothing to actually add to my cart. When will it be on the web site available order?

Hi, Kim. Thank you for reaching out, and we are sorry to hear this! You can find our wine selections by logging into your account when your shopping window is open and navigating to the Wine Shop aisle which should be the last option on the left-hand side. If you don’t see the Wine Shop aisle and you live in a state that we can deliver wine to (you can check in our FAQs here: ), please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team at they are there for you and always happy to help!

I tried to use my Direct Express MC which is a Government issued Debt I get my Disability on it tired to use it, has $$ on it and was declined????? Will other PrePaid Debt cards be declined? Because this is all I use ???

Hi, Debra. Thank you for reaching out, though we’re sorry you are experiencing any trouble! We currently do not accept government assistance such as SNAP/EBT as a payment option, but we are actively looking into adding that payment method through a pilot program. You can sign up for our email newsletter located on our website to be notified when this launches! If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to reach out using our contact form,

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