Amy’s Wine Tasting Tips – Tuesday Tips

As a self proclaimed wine enthusiast and “Expert in Training”, any opportunity I have to try new wines, I take. For those of you who are new to the wine world, or just looking for some Vine-spiration (yeah I just made that up) here are a few of my favorite tips! Gathered from my travels both domestic and abroad.

Amy West on the Widow’s Walk of the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine.

1. Try Everything–  The whole point of a tasting is to discover new tastes and learn about a given wine’s profile. Though, you may think you don’t like Merlot, perhaps you just don’t like Merlot from Napa Valley bottled in 1999. If you taste something and it doesn’t agree with you, don’t be afraid to dump the rest in those handy little containers provided. You don’t have to drink the whole pour (no matter how generous), no one is going to be offended. You never know, you may just discover your new favorite, but you wont ever know until you try.

Don’t get stuck in a wine rut. Try everything! 

2. Consider the Glass – There are a variety of glasses created for different kinds of wine. Red, white, port, ice wine… These aren’t just fashion statements. Wine glasses are expertly crafted to enhance the tasting experience. A narrow opening may help concentrate the aroma as you inhale it’s essence. Personally, I prefer drinking out of a crystal wine glass as I think it tastes better (though its not scientifically proven to do so). In the end it is all a matter of personal preference, experiment with a few and decide for yourself what you like best.

The glass you drink from can enhance your experience considerably. 

3. Taste with Your Nose– The bouquet of any varietal is just as important as it’s actual taste, and mouth feel. Don’t forget to swirl your wine around to open it up and take a deep breath in through your nose. Think about what you smell. Fruit? Tobacco? Lemon zest? Grass? We attach memories to fragrance, and this can certainly sway the way you feel about your tasting experience.

The Bouquet of any Varietal is just as important as it’s actual taste.

4. Get to know the Taste of the Region– The more I taste, the more I learn to identify region by taste. For instance Argentinian wines generally taste different than New Zealand wine, or French wine. There are a great many factors that contribute to that taste such as soil, grape, climate, and general trends in the cultures wine making. Depending on the meal, you may prefer a Napa variety to a Chilean variety of the same grape. Making it all the more worthwhile to grow acquainted with each wine’s individual culture.

Whether you are joining friends for a casual dinner in, or traveling to wine country for a weekend of exploration, make the best of your wine tasting experience with these great tips. While you are at it, share with us your favorite “vine-spiration” in the comment section below. Until next time…. Happy Tasting!

Savor every taste!
Enjoy the Journey
xo- Amy West

Sign up for the A-list for more great wine, food, and travel blogs!