Why you should learn how to taste wine

Why you should learn how to properly taste wine


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Wine is like a journey, and for every journey you need a good, solid, pair of shoes. Shoes that will take you from the first step to the last. It sets you up, allowing you take in every experience that comes your way sans the pain of worn soles (and souls). Much like a good choice of footwear, learning how to taste wine is an absolute necessity for anybody at any stage of their wine journey. It determines the extent to which you can enjoy the wine, but also the extent to which you can enjoy wine with others.

Yes, learning how to taste and drink wine correctly is difficult. You can be easily persuaded by a sommelier or wine expert about what flavors SHOULD be in the wine (99% of the time totally true FYI, but still) but you should be able to taste these things yourself. Even before we get to flavors, tastes, tannins, acidity et.al the importance of knowing how to properly taste wine is vital, to prevent yourself from drinking shit wine! You have to know what separates a good wine from a bad one, a wine that may be off, or is flawed in one way or the other. There are three easy steps, look at it, smell it, taste it.

Look - Should be easy to tell what red and white should look like, but you want to look at the color to see how long they have been aged. The darker the color, the longer it has been aged

Smell - Fruity, leathery, citrusy, herbal, are all good signs that a wine is good. If it smells like shit, like something has died, your grandmother’s attic, or just reeks of alcohol, chances are it has gone bad.

Taste - Really what you are looking for is a final check against bad wine. Strong alcohol or vinegar tastes are unacceptable. One should also not be that asshole who sends a wine back because one does not like it, if you don’t like your wine deal with it!

So why should you learn to taste wine? Apart from saving yourself from a bad glass of wine, learning how to taste wine correctly is an impressive trait to have. Tasting wine may not be a make or break on a date, but knowing how to will win you a point or two. It allows you to take command of a situation, have the experience of someone else or even a group of people in your hands. If they enjoy themselves thanks to the wine you helped to select, then all credit to you my wine friend! You took the lead, congratulations.