Wine tasting does not have to be intimidating. It is really quite simple when you get the hang of it. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you get your "awesommelier" on.
First Tip: Drink the lightest wines first. That means the champagne, and then the whites. You can tell how heavy a wine is by the color and the type of wine. A lighter colored red wine (such as our Pinot Noir) would be sipped before the Cabernet and the Old Vine Zinfandel. The stronger the wine, the last to drink. Follow with dessert wine or ports because the sugar and strong flavor profile will totally mess up your palette if you do it first.
Second Tip: Look at the color of the wine - admire it! You can tell a lot about a wine just based on its color. Swirl it around to see how viscous the wine is. If it is thick and it leaves "legs" on the side of your glass, there is a good chance for a higher alcohol content.
Third Tip: Smell it - see if you can pick up fruit or earthiness - some of the smells will come from the wine, and others will come from the winemaking. For example - that caramel, buttered popcorn smell in the Chardonnay comes from the winemaking oak barrels - not the grapes.
Fourth Tip: Take a Swig, but hold it in your mouth and make a little "wwwwhoooop" "whooop" sounds with the front of your lips as you suck in little breaths. That is to oxygenate the wine and to get the full experience. Notice if the wine tastes different in the beginning and after you swallow (called the finish). The longer the wine flavor lasts on your tongue, the longer the finish.
Pretty simple right?