Here’s How You Can Learn to Taste Wine Like an Expert

Temecula wine tasting excursions have turned many a novice wine drinker into an enthusiast. The best wine tasting tours allow guests to discover the many varietals that flourish in the Temecula Valley wine growing region, including many award-winning reds, whites, and roses.

For those who haven’t tasted wine at the source, wine culture may seem intimidating, but the truth is, whether you’re wine tasting Temecula or anywhere else, enjoyment is based solely on your personal taste. An expert might have his or her own opinions, and a palate trained to distinguish notes of the various berries and plums common to red wines, or stone fruit, apples, and citrus of whites. However, everyone’s individual response is valid.

That said, any first timer enjoying Temecula wine tours can improve his or her appreciation for wine’s nuanced complexity, simply by using the same tried and true approach the experts do, and it’s quite easy: just five basic steps.

First, take a look

Before drinking, hold up your glass against a white background to study the wine’s color and clarity. This won’t change what you taste in the glass, but as you spend time in Temecula wine tasting, you’ll start to recognize differences, such as brighter, richer colors in newly made reds, which shift toward auburn hues in more mature vintages, which will line up with deeper, deliciously complex flavors.

Swirl it around

As you gauge the color and clarity, hold your wine glass by the stem and gently swirl the liquid around. This could make you thirsty and make it look like you really know what you’re doing during your Temecula wine tasting tour. But the reason for doing this is less about appearance than it is aroma. As the wine swirls in the glass, the motion releases the wine’s aromatic compounds, which are mostly responsible for the distinct flavors within each vintage.

Breathe it in

Once you’ve given it a swirl, take a long moment to experience the wine with your nose before taking a sip. Hold the glass under your nose and smell those agitated compounds, which may yield scents such as vanilla, leather, fruits, flowers, or wisps of spice. Sniff too ardently and you may disrupt your appreciation with the stinging bite of alcohol. By breathing in gently with your mouth slightly open, you will skip the alcohol fumes and just enjoy wine aroma.

Sip and taste

Once identifying a wine’s scent, the expert taster is ready to drink. Take in just enough to cover your tongue, and swish the liquid around the roof of your mouth (there are flavor receptors there as well!). Appreciate this flavor rush for a couple of seconds — this should provide enough sensory input to keep your mind’s full attention!

Finish

Obviously, the next part of drinking is to swallow the beverage. However if your plan for the day involves wine tasting at many Temecula wineries (as it should), you may wish to spit the wine out. This is often what wine tasting experts do, because it gets tougher to appreciate the best wine tasting tours the more inebriated you get.

Regardless whether you spit it out or drink it down, the finish is actually one of the best parts of wine tasting. As you breathe out, those wine aromatics linger around your palate, even as your taste buds are still buzzing. It’s at this moment a wine tasting expert can truly understand the breadth of distinct flavors coming into play, and assess the overall quality of a wine’s fruit and production.

Enjoy the best wine tasting tours in Temecula

When you’re in Temecula wine tasting, you’ll notice plenty of quality in both, among a vast array of winemaking styles, including roses, and traditionally made sparkling wines. Contact us at Temecula Valley Jeep & Wine Tours to set up an itinerary to wine tour like an expert!