National Drink Wine Day

February 18th is National Drink Wine Day and lucky for us, this year, it’s on a Saturday! No work, school, responsibilities…just you and your bottle of red…bottle of white?

Since we are not honoring just the wine, but the drinking of the wine, I thought it would only be appropriate to teach you the proper way to do so. Knowing the basics of wine tasting will help you refine your palate, sharpen your ability to decipher wine, and make you look bad and boujie,  So break out your finest bottle, the appropriate wine glass, and get ready to learn!

For glass selection, see below:

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Step One:

The first step in tasting wine is to evaluate the wine with your eyes. You are looking to evaluate the color and clarity of the wine, which tells you how it may taste, and where it may be from.

White wines range from nearly colorless to a rich golden color. Nearly colorless wines usually hint at crispness in the wine with higher acidity. White wines with deeper colors of yellow and gold are fuller bodied, rich wines that are softer in acidity and may be aged in oak.

Red wine ranges from a light pink color all the way to a dark red wine that almost appears to be black. Lighter color red wines are generally fruity, light in body, and higher in acidity. The deeper, intense reds, usually a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, are big and bold full-bodied wines, typically from warmer regions, with higher sugar levels.

It is important to also look at the clarity of the wine you’re drinking. If the wine has any visible flaws, cloudiness, or haziness, it most likely was not properly made.

Step Two:

SWIRL! Learning how to swirl your wine is important to make sure you bring oxygen to the wine which then releases esters containing the aroma of the wine. Grab your glass by the stem, tilt the glass away from you at a 30 degree angle, and turn counter-clockwise. The more the esters are released, the more pronounced the aroma will be!

Step Three:

The sniff test! Take the wine glass up to your nose and fully insert your nose into the head of the wine glass. Take a deep breath in. Then move the glass away from your nose, bring it back, and then take a couple regular breaths in. The first deep breathe helps your brain process the aromas heightening your senses to identify aromas properly.

Step Four:

The tasting! It is important to take a sip big enough to coat your entire tongue. To enhance the intensity, aerate the wine in your mouth by opening your lips a small amount and suck air into your mouth. The aerating once again will release more esters into your mouth therefore heightening the flavor of the wine. It also will send more aromas back through your nasal passages. To maximize tasting the wine, make sure you move around the wine on your tongue so it is able to hit as many taste receptors as possible. Your tongue will register different tastes in different areas of your tongue, which will guarantee you that you get the full body taste of your delectable wine.

Step Five:

This step can be taken two different ways. If you’re in a restaurant tasting wine, most likely spitting is not an option…unless you’re using it as a way to never get a call back from your date. If you’re truly tasting wine at home, at a wine event, or in a winery, it is proper to spit the wine out after “tasting” it on your tongue.  This allows you to try numerous varieties of wine without being passed out on the floor an hour later! Perfect!

Happy National Drink Wine Day!