Observe the color and clarity of the wine. View wine by holding the glass up to a white background. Notice if the wine is clear and brilliant or cloudy and dull. Remember that wines naturally gain color as they age. Swirling wine in the glass exposes it to a larger surface area. This increases wine’s contact with air and intensifies its aromas. Swirl your wine by holding the glass by the base or by the stem.
The smell of wine is referred to as its nose, bouquet or aroma. Common aromas include different fruits, spices, herbs and flowers. While different people will smell different things in the same wine, there are general smells specific to certain varieties.
Be sure to smell the wine several times. A wine with great complexity will offer different aromas each time, as well as several scents at one time. There are hundreds of smells in wine!
The overall “taste” of a wine is a combination of smells and flavors, so don’t skip the smelling stage to get to the tasting.
What make a well balanced wine: Body Fullness or thinness: A function of both alcohol and glycerol. Acidity: Gives the wine crispness and freshness without which the wine is flat and sour. Tannin: The bitterness you taste comes from grape skins and seeds. It is essential to the finish of a wine. Most obvious in reds. Can taste astringent, hard, dry or soft. Sweetness: Comes from the wine’s fruit flavors as well as any fermented grape sugars left in the wine. If there is no perceived sweetness, a wine is “dry.” Fruitiness: Intensity is dependent on the variety, growing conditions and winemaking techniques.