5 S’s of Tasting Wine: See

The first S in wine tasting is to See the wine. Pour the wine into a glass and hold it up to the light. Study the color, as you are looking for clarity and brilliance. As white wine ages, the coloring changes and will become almost a golden yellow or straw color. For red wine, the color can be a deep red or a burgundy.

5 S’s of Tasting Wine: Swirl

Next, swirl the wine by holding the stem of the wine glass lightly. This will allow the wine to breathe and will release the aroma, bouquet and fragrance.
As you are swirling the wine, look at how it falls and hits the side of the glass. This is called the legs of the wine and lets you know how full bodied the wine is. The longer it stays to the side of the glass the more body the wine has.

5 S’s of Tasting Wine: Sniff

Now raise the glass to your nose and sniff the wine. The purpose of sniffing wine before tasting is to give you a preview of what is to come when you take your first sip. There is no right or wrong way to sniff wine. What you smell will depend on the type of wine you have chosen. All aromas will depend on the individual and are open to interpretation. They may be fruity, woody, earthy or even floral.

5 S’s of Tasting Wine: Sip

It is now time to sip the wine. Swirl the wine in your mouth taking in the flavour allowing it to roll over your tongue experiencing the body and the texture of the wine. The tip of your tongue detects sweetness, the inner sides detect sourness and acidity, the outer sides detect saltiness and the back detects bitterness and /or alcohol.  What did you taste? Was the wine sweet? Dry? Or spicy? The taste should be similar to what your sense of smell detected earlier when you smelled the wine.

5 S’s of Tasting Wine: Savor

Lastly, Savor the wine and hold it in your mouth. Once the wine is out of your mouth, by either swallowing or spitting, let the flavor deepen on your palate for about 60 seconds. Some wines will fall out quickly and some wines will have new flavors develop and linger in your mouth. Be sure in this last step to assess the finish! Notice if the aftertaste of wine in your mouth is pleasant, or whether it lingers with you for awhile. Depending on the wine you may pucker or even salivate after spitting or swallowing the wine