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Wine Tasting for Newbies

Updated on November 22, 2014
Yoleven at
Yoleven at

I love tasting new wines and perhaps you do too. If you thought wine tasting was just for snobs or those people who call themselves oenophiles, think again! Wine tasting is a hobby that anyone can enjoy. If you're ready to join the throngs of individuals who hit the wineries every fall for wine tasting adventures, this list of wine tasting tips will help you get off to a great start.

Wine Tasting Groups

You've decided that you want to try wine tasting, but have no idea where to begin. You have two options: either jump into this headfirst or join a local club or group of friends that share the same interests. While you can do this alone, it is a little more fun with a group of friends. As an added bonus, the more people in your group, the less expensive this venture will be since you'll share the costs of the wines you're trying out.

One way to find groups just about anywhere is to visit If there's a group in your area, you'll find it on this site. If not, start your own wine tasting club!

Wine Club Memberships

Perhaps you're not into joining clubs.  In this case, consider joining a wine club at a favorite winery or online wine outlet.  Wine clubs send out several wines for you to try either monthly or several times a year.  Wine club memberships vary greatly in cost, so shop around to find the best deals and the greatest variety.  Remember too that you want good wines to try, not a businesses' worst sellers that they're trying to get rid of.

How to Taste Wine

When you're ready to try some wines, have the following handy:



*Blank white sheet of paper

You'll want to take notes on your thoughts about each wine. It will make you a better wine taster and help you remember which wines you like, and those you do not.

Step 1: Pour yourself ¼ of a glass of wine in a clear wine glass. Holding the glass by the stem, swirl the wine gently. Notice how the wine rappels down the side of the glass. Wine that tends to "stick" to the side of the glass for a moment or two is said to have "legs" and will have a higher alcohol content. Hold the sheet of white paper behind the glass and look at the color of the wine. It should be clear and bright. While a little sediment is common in older wines, there shouldn't lots of loose particles floating throughout the wine.

Step 2: Swirl the wine again gently and sniff the wine. Sniff it from a few inches away from the glass and then actually put your nose on the edge of the glass and inhale deeply.

Step 3: Sip a small mouthful of wine and allow it to sit on your tongue for a few moments. What do you notice? Each wine has a distinctive texture and weight. Expose the wine to all of your taste buds, noting each sensation.

Step 4: Take a second sip, allowing a little air to mingle with the wine this time. Note any differences in the flavor.

Step 5: Swallow a mouthful of wine. Is there an aftertaste? Does the flavor linger on the palate?

Note: It is okay to spit out a wine in a bucket if you're tasting many different wines. This isn't considered rude. After all, the purpose is to try a variety of wines, not to get sloshed!

If you'd like to try some free downloadable wine scoring sheets to keep track of your wine tasting experiences, try the following websites in the link box below:

Wine Glasses

As you progress in your wine tasting adventure you may want to buy specific glassware for the occasion.  Generally speaking, you'll want to have glasses with a larger bulb shape for your red wines and smaller bulb shaped glasses for white wine.

Pairing Food With Wine

If you're interested in pairing some foods with wine at your wine tasting, the following is a brief list of foods that go with different wine types:

*Cheese and chocolate pair well with most red wines

*Cheese, crackers and fruit pair well with most white wines

*A variety of chocolates compliment champagnes

*Fish and white meats pair well with white wines

*Red meats and pasta pair well with red wines

*Fruit and pastries pair well with sweet dessert wines

Wine Tasting Accessories and Gifts


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  • ellahall2011 profile image

    ellahall2011 6 years ago

    Very informative, thanks for this.

  • profile image

    Santi 6 years ago

    I visited Europe and Spain last month and I found a great wine from Bodegas Juncos with tempranillo grape for a great price and amazing quality. I love it

  • profile image

    Rose Barrett 7 years ago

    I've noticed that a few wine warehouse stores have tastings on a regular basis. The cost is very minimal and you get to taste some really incredible wines. Nice hub.