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Wine 101: How to Taste

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

We all love to drink wine! However, drinking wine and tasting wine are two very different things. Listed below are the steps used by everyone from wine enthusiasts to wine professionals, to help guide you through the process of wine tasting.

One of the most important reasons we Cellar Beasts do what we do is to help educate our guests. Learning how to critically analyze a glass of wine is an important part of wine tasting, and really helps the drinker more fully understand (and appreciate) what is going on in their glass!

Here is a step-by-step method to help guide you through the process of tasting known as ‘The Five Esses’. Cheers!

#1. SEE

First things first, always make sure to hold your wine glass by the stem. Holding your glass by the bowl can change the temperature of the wine (which, presumably, is at the proper serving temperature).

The first thing you'll want to do after receiving your glass of wine is hold it up to a light source or view it over a white surface. Take a moment to admire the color of the wine. The color can offer a glimpse into its age and depth, among other things. White wines gain color as they age, while red wines lose color. Now, get a sense of your wine. Is the wine clear or cloudy? Thin and watery, or thick and syrupy? All of these can be indicators of how the wine was made, and what its age might be.