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?