How to Taste Wine Like a Boss
Satisfy your sense of smell by testing a wine
When you smell a wine, you’re preparing your brain for the wine you’re about to taste. Our sense of smell has a profound affect on the way our brain processes flavour. If you want to better understand just how profound, hold your nose and then put a strawberry in your mouth and start to chew. Halfway through chewing, release your nose. You’ll notice right away how much more you actually taste when you have your sense of smell. This is why smell is so important when it comes to tasting a wine.
When you go to smell the wine, stick your nose all the way into the glass and close your eyes — sure you might feel silly doing it, but you’re going to notice a lot more smells this way — then breathe in deep. As you smell the wine, think about what scents you’re picking up, and keep in mind that there are no wrong answers! If it’s a white wine, maybe you smell bananas, lemon rind, pineapple or even that scent that is always in the air when you go to the beach. If it’s a red wine, you may smell prunes, cherries, strawberries, peppers, plums or tobacco. In both situations, you may say you just smell grapes, and that is totally fine too.
Tips for Smelling Wine
Stick your nose right into the airspace of the glass where the aromas are captured.
Don’t wear a strong scent; it will compete with the smell of the wine.
Don’t knock yourself out smelling a wine when there are strong food aromas around. The tomatoes you smell in the wine could really be the tomato in someone’s pasta sauce.
Smell every ingredient when you cook, everything you eat, the fresh fruits and vegetables you buy at the supermarket, even the smells of your environment. Stuff your mental database with smells so that you’ll have aroma memories at your disposal when you need to draw on them.
Try different sniffing techniques. Some people like to take short, quick sniffs, while others like to inhale a deep whiff of the wine’s smell. Keeping your mouth open a bit while you inhale can help you perceive aromas.