A Home Wine Tasting Can Spice Up Your Week

A home wine tasting is the perfect way to add variety to your life. You want to have a wine that is well-crafted from a specific grape varietal; otherwise, you could find yourself comparing different versions of the same wine. Although come to think of it, that could be fun too.

A Wine Tasting for One or Many

Red wines are an excellent choice for a wine tasting for one. That’s because red wines don’t spoil quickly. They can sit and wait without losing too much of their taste and quality. However, since you’ll have six bottles, you can definitely invite friends to join in the fun.

Wine tasting can be super fun! Have you tried it?

There are six main red wine types: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah and Shiraz. The last two are essentially the same varietal with Syrah grown in the Northern Hemisphere and Shiraz favored in the Southern Hemisphere. Still, they aren’t identical, and this gives you six red wines to divide into two “flights.”

To begin, wrap the bottles in aluminum foil or plain brown paper. You might number them as you go and keep a list.

You’ll want as many glasses as there are wines. This is easy if you are doing this on your own. To do it for a crowd, you may need to wash the glasses between “flights”. A flight is a group of two to three wines.

About 30 minutes before you plan to open the bottles, place the red wines in ice or a refrigerator. You want to cool them to 60 to 65 degrees,  but you don’t want them to be truly cold.  About ten minutes before your tasting, open the first flight of wine bottles and let it breathe.  

How do you enjoy your wine? How do you sip it?

To do the actual tasting, pour no more than two ounces of wine in each glass. Now it’s time to do the tasting. Some are dark to the point of looking purple or even black. Then swish, keeping the glass on the table.  Now note the aromas with a careful sniff. Then you will move on to sip, savor and, perhaps, spit. 

A notepad or notecards can be used where you and guests, if you have any, can write down what the look, smell and taste as the wine is sampled. This becomes more interesting as you begin to compare the wines.

How to Sip Wine

In a wine tasting, a sip is not just a sip. You want to hold it in your mouth, swishing it around. This will help it coat your tongue, taste buds, and entire palate. You are thinking about how it feels. It may be smooth, velvety, rich, thin, rough, soft, crisp or heavy.

How to Savor Wine

To properly savor during a wine tasting, you will draw air into your mouth and sort of gargle the wine in your mouth. As the air passes between your front teeth, it is releasing aromas. Some call this chewing the wine, and it is also done by drawing air across your tongue.  In this process, you are looking for the taste: bitter, sweet or acidic. You may begin to identify specific flavors. With red wines, there are often hints of dark fruits such as plums, currants, and black cherries. Some may notice hints of oak, dark chocolate and other surprising flavors.

I like to savor my wine with my partner.

How to Determine Aftertaste

When the wine is gone, either swallowed or spit, the aftertaste is a measure of how well it was made.  You are hoping for it to linger 20 to 30 seconds on your tongue. So you don’t want to rush to cleanse your palate. 

What to Do to Cleanse Your Palate

After each tasting, the person can spit the wine into a mug or other weighted glass. Or, they can simply indulge in some palate cleansers such as crackers or bread.  The purist will insist on swishing water and spitting that out. Others may shy away from this practice. Still, you want to feel as if the first wine is gone from your taste buds before moving onto the next.

Take a Break

Between the first and second flights of wine, take a break to gather your thoughts and perhaps talk about what you’ve observed. Since it’s a blind tasting, people will share more freely and worry less about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. 

Sometimes you just have to take a break and store it properly.

Enjoy the Second Flight

Repeat the wine tasting steps for the second flight of wines. When you are done, you can enjoy a glass of your favorite with a meal or appetizers. If you did this alone, you’ll have some wonderful wine ahead. If it’s a party, well, you can expect the wine to disappear and to be better appreciated as a result of your efforts.

32 thoughts on “A Home Wine Tasting Can Spice Up Your Week”

  1. I might choose one of the wines listed to start the taste test, thanks for your valuable advice!

  2. Oh, my friends and I are definitely going to do this… each one of us can bring one or two and then we can all taste each other’s to find new wines! Thank you!

  3. I’ve never tried this before, It sounds like a really amazing idea! I would love to try this!

  4. Awesome tips to make tasting wine absolutely enjoyable and to the fullest. Next time we have a wine session.

  5. I love wine tastings, but have never done one at home! This would make an awesome girls’ night. Thanks for all the tips to make the most of it!

  6. My daughter in law has a certification that has to do with wines. I bet a wine testing would be so up her alley that I may just host one now. Love this suggestion!

  7. These are great tips. I would love to get started with meditation and find time to do it regularly. Will check the app you suggested. This sounds really helpful.

  8. This looks so fun! I’ve never been into wine but I’d love to try a sampling to find one I do enjoy! Thanks for the tips!

  9. I have to host one weekend for my friends! We have tons of wine in Italy. It will be fun for sure!

  10. I have been wanting to do one home wine tasting! My girl friends would be excited for my bachelorette party. Sounds so fun!

  11. In France, we do this all the time. My friends spend the weekends at St. Tropez or Paris. It’s so fun!

  12. I really want to do this with my friends! And I love the idea of hiding bottles/labels so that people will be more forthcoming with their opinions. Thank you for sharing!

  13. I am doing this tonight with my husband as I just got two new bottles… a red and white. I am always looking for new delicious wines!

  14. Hhhhmmm….I never did a wine-tasting before back when I still enjoyed alcohol…too bad! Never-the-less, I will gladly share your tips with Edwin and mummy here. They love wines. Thanks for sharing them.

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