If you are going to taste wines to explore some different options, then there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you start sampling. Tasting wines can be an easy, fun way to try something new, but you want to make sure that you make the most of your experience. Here are some tips for getting started that are sure to put you on the right path.
Eat Something First
You don’t need to be on a full stomach, but if you haven’t eaten all day and start sipping wines, they may end up hitting you harder than you expect. Grab a light snack or an appetizer to split before you start sipping.
Every wine is different and unique, so the more you know about what you are sipping, the better. Feel free to ask questions, especially about wines you really like or don’t like as it can help you get a better understanding of the different elements you enjoy or maybe don’t enjoy as much. You can come away from your experience discovering you like full-bodied reds but don’t like wines with more woody flavors.
Listen to Suggestions
Typically, the individual in charge of the wine tasting will have suggestions on which wines you should taste in which order. Listen to this individual. The order is important when it comes to making the most of your experience. Tasting wines in the wrong order can mess with your pallet.
Wine tasting is all about learning about different wines, and after a few samples, it may be difficult to remember which is which, so make sure that you take notes. Your notes can be detailed about flavors or they can be as simple as “like” or “didn’t like.” Make sure to write down the names of your favorite wines so you can have them again in the future.
Plan Ahead if You Are Worried About Red-Wine Teeth
This is an unfortunate side effect of wine tasting and one that typically can’t be avoided, so plan accordingly. Red wine can stain your teeth. Plain and simple. If you are worried about your look for the rest of the evening, make sure to drink water after or try some chewing gum for when you’re done tasting.
You Can Spit or Not
Spitting is actually an accepted part of wine tasting and while some wine enthusiasts swear it is the only way to do it, don’t feel pressured to spit while tasting. If you want to, please go ahead, but if you feel comfortable don’t feel pressured to spit out your wine after your sample it.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
Just because you had a cabernet you didn’t like once, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be open-minded to trying new wines. You may be surprised to find just how different certain wines can taste and you may be surprised to find what ends up being your new favorite. Ask for suggestions and don’t be afraid to expand your horizons, it is a tasting after all.
Wine tasting shouldn’t be overly serious. If you can’t tell the difference between two wines or don’t know which is a chardonnay and which is a pinot, it is alright. Relax, have fun and enjoy yourself. After all you are there to learn something.
Feel well-versed in the art of wine tasting? Now it’s time to put your skills to the test at Hearthstone’s weekly Private Cellar events. Every Thursday from 6-8 PM, you can taste a collection of different wines right in our lounge. This is not only a great way to test out what you have learned about tasting different wines but to discover a new favorite option to add to your repertoire.