When you hear sommeliers talk about wine, it almost sounds like they’re making it up.  The stuff they’re saying sounds so complicated that getting to that level feels like a daunting and nearly impossible task.  But there are some steps you can take to taste wine like a true sommelier.  As a matter of fact, it only takes four basic steps, and is pretty simple to understand and help anybody improve their palate.  All you need is a glass of wine.  

1. Look: Check the wine’s color, opacity, and viscosity.  This shouldn’t take more than 5 seconds.

2. Smell: When you start smelling wine, go from big to small.  For example, start with broad categories of fruit, and from there you can specify.  You can divide the smell of a wine into three main categories: primary, which come from the grape, secondary, which come from the winemaking process, and finally tertiary, which come from aging.  

3. Taste: All wines are going to have at least some sour taste, since grapes have acid.  Some wines are known for their bitterness, sweetness, and some even have a salty taste to them!  You can also perceive the “texture” of a wine’s taste, as well as the “length” of this taste.  

4. Think: Was the wine balanced, or not balanced?  Was it unique?  Did any characteristics stand out to you?  Did you like it?