How to Taste Wine

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Sommelier Jordan Salcito explains how to taste wine like a pro, first smelling the wine to identify its characteristics and descriptors, then tasting it and noting not only the flavors, but also how the wine feels in her mouth.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jordan Salcito. You're watching eHow.com. Today, we're going to talk about how to taste wine. The first thing you're going to do, you're going to smell the wine because your nose is actually a lot more complex, and it can pick up a lot more smells than your mouth can, or a lot more flavors than your mouth can. So, I like to smell the wine two different times. First, smell it before you swirl it around. You get a different set of scents. Then, swirl it around a little bit. You're giving it some oxygen. It's going to make new smells come out. The next thing you're going to want to do is really pay attention, what does this wine smell like to you? For me, this is a Rosso Di Montalcino. I'm getting tart cherry, and I'm getting some roasted herbs and a little bit of spice, but really think about the wine that you're smelling and what you like about it, and maybe even write it down so that you know for next time. The next thing you want to do is you want to taste the wine. So when you taste the wine, you're actually going to be tasting for two different things. The first is the flavors, where a lot of times you're just confirming all those same smells that you smelled when you were, had your nose in the glass. The second thing that you're tasting for are the characteristics of the wine. Is it tart? Is it jammie? Is it ripe? Is it full of tannins and sort of grippie on your tongue? So, I'm going to taste this Rosso Di Montalcino, and this one for me, it's very similar to what it actually smelled like on the nose. I'm getting a lot of that tart cherry, a lot of roasted herbs, some rosemary and some thyme, but really what does it taste like to you? And then, you want to pay attention to where you taste the wine. Is it a, this is a very tart wine with some great acidity to it. So, it feels like a piano key sort of playing up and down the sides of my tongue. Now that you've smelled and tasted your wine, take some notes, write it down so that you know for next time. I'm Jordan Salcito. Catch me again on eHow.com.

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