- Tasting glasses should be clean, free of dishwasher soap or other cleaning products residue.
- If you only have one glass for tasting and you change the grape variety, rinse the glass with the new wine, throw it away and then pour your tasting sample.
- Opinions vary about the tasting temperature, many agree that the best is to taste at room temperature, as between 18-20°C a wine will have the most volatile aromas for you to identify
Visual wine observation
- Clarity: is wine clear or hazy. Hazy is not a good sign unless you are having one of those natural wines, unfiltered.
- Colour intensity: pale – medium – deep
- Assess the colour intensity by tilting your glass at 45° angle
- White wine: lemon – gold (if there is a hint of orange or brown) – amber (noticeable level of browning) – brown
- Rosé rose: pink – salmon – orange
- Red wine: purple (noticeable blue or purple) – ruby – garnet (noticeable orange/ brown, but still more red than brown) – tawny – brown
What colour and its intensity indicate?
- A lemon white and purple-red will be a young wine without much ageing in the winery or bottle.
- A gold white wine is usually a wine with some bottle ageing
- An amber/ brown white wine and a garnet/ brown red wine will be usually very old or wine that has been deliberately oxidised.
- Red wines become lighter in colour and can take on a brownish tint with age, as red grapes pigments break down and get lighter in colour.
Legs on wine glass
The viscosity, thickness of the lines and their duration give hints about body or sugar content or alcohol level.
- If the wine moves around the glass quickly, most probably is a light body wine.
- If the wine moves around the glass slowly, almost oily, making big, slow-moving legs, most probably is a full-bodied wine and/or a wine with higher residual sugar and/or a wine with higher alcohol.