A hand filling up the wine testing notes

Developing Your Wine Palate Made Easy

Have you ever wondered how some people can take a sip of wine and spout the flavors seemingly without effort? This is because they have developed their wine palate.

In this article, you will learn how to develop your wine palate, train your palate to find aromas, and build your wine memory.

Helpful Tips Before You Start Tasting

To start your wine tasting on the right foot, here are some helpful tips to use so you look like you know what you’re doing—even if you don’t!

Hold the glass correctly

Holding a wine glass is not as simple as you think when wine tasting. You must always hold the glass by the stem, not the bowl of the glass. This may seem unnatural at first, but holding the glass by the stem prevents your fingers from heating up the wine.

Learn to swirl

Swirling the wine in the glass is an integral part of wine tasting. Swirling the wine mixes up the chemical compounds, making it easier to smell the flavors. An easy way to swirl your glass is to rotate your wrist gently, not your entire arm, as this creates spillage.

Do not wear heavy perfume or cologne

When you are attending a wine tasting session, it is best to avoid wearing heavy or overpowering fragrances. This is because one crucial part of wine tasting is the smell, and your strong scent will be more of a nuisance.

Eat beforehand

Drinking on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster and one you will want to avoid at a wine tasting event. If you have eaten and are still tipsy, try just taking a small sip of the wine and drinking water between rounds.

How To Taste Wine

Couple drinking wine

When you are tasting wine, you will be using four very important skills: looking, tasting, smelling, and thinking. Once you have learned how to use these skills properly, you will be well on your way to developing your wine tasting palate.

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Look

Slow down and pace yourself when you are wine tasting. It is not a sprint. Take a moment to clear your mind before taking the first step.

This first step is when you will look at the wine and notice its color, opacity, and viscosity. A good waiting time is around 5 seconds.

Step 2: Smell

The second step is to smell the wine before taking a sip. The best way to do this is by swirling your glass gently, as this will release more aromas.

Step 3: Taste

Tasting wine is not simply swallowing; you will be using your tongue to detect the taste of the wine. Your tongue will pick up the subtle hints of salty, sweet, sour, and bitter in the wine.

It’s not just the flavors of the wine you need to pay attention to, but also the texture of the wine. Some wines have a more oily texture, or you may notice that some wines leave a sandpaper kind of feeling in your mouth.

Step 4: Think

Once you have taken a sip of wine, try to think about what you just tasted and focus on things like the acidity, the tannins, and the alcohol strength. Think about any characteristics that stood out to you and your first impressions.

These are the four steps to tasting wine—repeat them and enjoy the experience!

How To Train Your Palate To Find Aromas: Visualize and Isolate

Training your palate to find aromas and flavors can be done at home quite easily. Collect a group of food items that are similar to the aromas found in wine. A quick internet search will help you. These could be things like fruit, fruit juice, and fresh butter. Blindfold yourself and smell the food items.

Once you have smelled the food items, take a sip of the wine and see if you can recognize some of those elements in the wine. Closing your eyes and smelling wine is a great way to visualize the flavors and imagine what the smells look like. Using this technique will help you isolate the flavors of the wine.

Build Your Wine Memory

To build your wine memory which will aid when tasting, always remember the key points of wine. These could be the flavors you remember when smelling wine or how you felt when drinking the wine. One way of doing this is by keeping a wine journal where you make notes of the flavors in the different wines you’ve tried.
Glass enclosed wine wall

Store Your Memories at Home with Wine Racks America!

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Contact Wine Racks America’s expert team at 888-373-6057 to get started!