• November / 23 / 2022

How To Taste Wine; The Basics

When it comes to drinking wine, there is a big difference between drinking it and tasting it; having the ability to taste the flavours in wine takes training and skill, but do not worry; this can be learnt. 

When it comes to wine, there are a few things you need to know to taste it correctly. First, you need to make sure that your wine glass is clean. If there are any fingerprints or smudges on the glass, it can affect the way the wine tastes. Second, you want to pour a small amount of wine into the glass, about an inch from the rim. Swirl the wine around in the glass and take a deep sniff. You should be able to smell the different aromas of the wine.

These are just a couple of the main components; having provided wine for clients for several years right here at Oban Whiskey And Fine Wines, we have all the knowledge and expertise to help you truly understand how to taste your wine. If you have any questions or queries, contact our team today. 

Top Tips For Wine Tasting 

  • Take notes! This may seem trivial, but if you are interested in learning how to taste wine properly, taking notes will help you write down what the wine tastes like, smells like and anything else. 
  • Consider tasting blind; this is where you cannot see the wine and use your taste buds and nose to build a portfolio around the wine; this is a great way to test your friends and see if you can guess the wine without looking at the bottle. 
  • Take the time to smell things such as Blackcurrant jam, cherries and other flavours you may regularly come across in wine to get your nose used to those smells; it is almost like training your nose to remember the scents associated with each product. 
  • Trust your instincts! If it doesn’t smell right, it might not be; remember, a wine left open for a short period can change taste and smell. 
  • Take a break if you taste or smell the wine and can’t pick anything out. Remember, your nose and taste buds can become overwhelmed quickly! 

What Do You Need For Wine Tasting? 

  • Wine Glass; Please note you do not have to spend a lot of money on a fancy wine glass, nor do you need to have separate glasses for red wine or white wine; all you need to do is make sure it is clean every time and ensure there is enough room to swirl the wine around to release the aromas. 
  • Something white; Whether this is a white tablecloth or even a white piece of paper, you will need a white surface to help you examine the wine. 
  • Natural light; This can be either daylight or a neutral light that does not have a specific colour to it, such as a yellow hue. 
  • The Right Temperature; Wine needs to be kept at the right temperature for a wine tasting to be carried out properly; red wine should be kept between 12-18 degrees, and white wine should be 7 to 10 degrees. This temperature will be ideal for both red and white wine tasting. It allows the wine to bloom correctly for the specific bottle. 

How To Wine Taste Like A Professional 

Now that you have the right tools, it’s time to start your wine-tasting journey. Here are a few professional tips on how to taste wine like a seasoned pro:


For wine tasting, we recommend pouring around 40cl into a wine glass; this is around two fingers width; it is the perfect amount of wine for a tasting; remember you are not pouring the wine to drink simply. Once you have your glass poured, pick it up and tilt it to get a good look at the wine. 


Now it’s time to start getting a real sense of the wine. Place your nose just inside the glass and take a short, gentle sniff. Be careful not to get too close, as you might miss some more subtle aromas if your nose is right in the glass.  Remember, take smooth inhales, and do not breathe hard; you can numb your senses. 


Now it’s time to take a sip of wine. Again, be careful not to gulp, as this will not give you the best sense of the flavour profile.  Instead, take a small sip and roll it around your mouth before swallowing. Doing so will oxygenate the wine and allow you to taste it before you truly swallow it. Hold it in your mouth, explore the flavours and savour the wine! 

Finally, What Can The Wine Tell You? 

Wine is incredibly complex, and it can take a lifetime to learn everything there is to know about it. However, the basics are not that difficult to understand, and once you have them down, you can enjoy wine confidently. Once you have tasted the wine, you must consider a few things before deciding if you like it. Remember, you are not deciding whether you would like to drink it casually on a weekend evening; we mean whether you genuinely like it flavours and body of the wine. 

Ask yourself these questions;

  • How did it taste?
  • Did you enjoy the flavours of the fruit?
  • What were the acidity levels like?
  • How intense were the flavours?
  • Could you taste or smell more than one flavour?
  • How long did the taste last?
  • Did you enjoy the wine on a complex level? (It is okay to say no)

Contact Oban Whisky And Fine Wines For Incredible Wines 

Oban Whisky and Fine Wines is a great place to buy wines. We have a wide variety of wines, from reds to whites, and we can help you find the perfect wine for any occasion. 

Our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you have about wine, and they’re always happy to help you find the perfect bottle.

Why not test your new-found wine-tasting skills and order a bottle today?


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