Now that you've properly paired your wines, you're ready for the fun to begin. For those of you who are new to wine tasting, here's what you need to know:
Step 1: See
Check out the color of your wine. A red wine could be described as maroon, purple, ruby, garnet, brick or even brownish. A white wine may be described as straw toned, yellow or golden. Make note of it's clarity. It may look brilliant, clear, dull or cloudy. Can you see any sediment?
Step 2: Swirl
Give your glass a swirl and take a second look. You may see sediment now. Swirling your wine also helps to release the aroma of your wine.
Step 3: Smell
Put your nose down into the glass and take a deep inhale through your nose. What do you smell? Do you smell oak, berries, flowers, vanilla, citrus? Swirl again and give it another sniff. You may smell pepper, cinnamon or nuts. Sometimes you may get a hint of tobacco, grass, hay or even dirt.
Step 4: Sip
Take a Sip. Start with a small sip and let it roll around your tongue. Let all of your taste buds come in contact with it. Pucker your lips and suck in a small amount of air. Notice how the air changes the taste of the wine. Now take a bite of your food pairing. Take another sip of your wine and notice how the food brings out different tastes in the wine.
Now that you've tasted your wine, compare notes with everyone else. Before you move on to the next wine, be sure to cleanse your palette with a water cracker.