Wine Tasting for Beginners

Wine tasting is a delightful experience that is a guaranteed way to have fun. If you’ve never gone wine tasting before then you might want to know a few things about what to expect. Swirl, spit and swallow are the usual instructions when it comes to wine tasting for beginners however it is a bit more complex than that. You have to understand how the wine engages all of the senses.

Wine tasting is about more than just the taste of the wine. The visual aspect of the wine counts as well as some people enjoy the aesthetic appeal of a full bodied wine while others prefer it to be light. The smell of the wine is also important because scent accounts for over half of the tasting experience.

You are advised to swirl the wine in your glass before you taste it to release the aromas that are held within the wine. The scents of different wines have been known to vary from light and delicate to pungent and strong. Knowing how to differentiate scents will help you to understand the history behind the wine and what kind of conditions it has been stored in.


A wine’s exposure to oxygen has strong effects on its smell and taste. A wine that has experienced a fair amount of reduction, i.e. it has not been exposed to air or allowed to ‘breathe’ before the glass was poured has a distinct scent of rot or a strong mineral taste depending on how long it has been kept airtight. Oxidation on the other hand happens when the wine has been allowed to sit open for some time. Oxidation is known to give the wine a browner color and makes it give off the aromas and taste of caramel or honey. Just a hint of oxidation is generally preferred as too much will overpower its fruitiness.

After you have tasted the wine it is time to draw your conclusion on it. No, don’t have to sound like a college professor who lectures on grapes all day long. You just need to give an honest review on your thoughts about the texture and quality of the wine. Talk about how sweet you felt the wine was and whether the taste of the fruits came through. You also want to give your thoughts on how long the aftertaste lasted in your mouth and if it was desirable.