There are many local wine stores who host weekly or monthly tastings. These tastings range in price from $5.00 to $50.00 depending on what wines are being poured during the tasting and if there are any additional amenities like cheeses, appetizers or other small bites. If you are fortunate enough to live near a wine growing region, I encourage you to visit different tasting rooms, take notes of what wines you enjoy for future reference. These notes do not need to be anything more than the wine, producer, vintage, and special designation like reserve or single vineyard. After the basic wine information feel free to choose your own rating system whether it be 5 stars, thumbs up or thumbs down since they are your personal notes you decide.
Pro tip: When attending a wine tasting please do not wear anything that has a fragrance. Perfume, lotion and other beauty products can interfere with the aromas of the wine making the experience less enjoyable for you and those around you.
Once you have gotten to the tasting here are the basic steps to enhancing your enjoyment of each individual wine.
1. See Take a look at the color or the wine. Is it deep dark purple, ruby red, clear, golden?
2. Swirl Swirling a wine around your glass mixes the wine with the air,releasing the wine’s fragrance allowing the taster to evaluate of the “nose” of the wine.
3. Sniff Most of what we taste is actually our sense of smell doing double-duty. After swirling the wine, sniff deeply in the bowl of the glass and enjoy the aromas.
4. Sip Take a little of the wine into your mouth and swish it around. Concentrate on the flavors, see if you can associate the taste with familiar tastes such as berry, butter, vanilla, oak and tobacco. If you pay attention to your taste buds, you’ll note many flavors that you would never think to associate with wine.
5. Savor Simply take a moment to enjoy the wine, in some cases the wine flavors will linger or change with time.