Tasting- A Journey To The Dark Side

I am often told by many white wine drinkers that they can’t drink red wine because its too harsh. The reality for most and for me many moons ago was I didn’t know how to taste wine and what exactly what I was tasting. Hence I thought I’d share my journey to the dark side. Below is my quick step by step guide to becoming a red wine drinker, or at the very least you will be able to maximise the taste of your white wine.

  1. Firstly, go to your local wine shop and ask for a soft easy drinking red wine such as a Chilean merlot.
  2. Uncork and pour a small glass.
  3. Swirl the wine in the glass for a few seconds as this increases the number of aroma compounds that release into the air.
  4. Nose the wine to become a little familiar with the wine it is also a chance to check that the wine is in good condition.
  5. Take a sip and roll the wine around your palate similar to how you use mouth wash
  6. Then take some air into the wine and swallow the wine
  7. Once swallowed breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  8. This allows you to full experience the taste of your wine.

Now you are probably shaking your head and thinking you hate red wine more than ever but wait. I have given you the direction to taste now what you are tasting.

  1. Your palate should be watering this is the acidity of the wine
  2. Your gums are feeling a bit dry and tight, with heavier reds you may feel your entire mouth being pulled into your face. This is the tannin which is the biggest culprit for most not enjoying red wine. Tannin will always dissipate so if you did manage to get a soft red wine the tannin won’t be strong so forget it and focus on the feel of the wine and how it tastes. Typical taste profile from merlot is plums, strawberries, cherries and blackberries.
  3. Always take small sips, even let it roll gently around the palate to pick up anything you missed the first time.
  4. By now you probably have some opinion, even if it is a like or dislike it is still an opinion.



Wild West SelfieSuzi is passionate about wine, beer and whiskey too, not forgetting a love of food and travel. She has been a part of this industry for a little over 10 years. She has worked on level 4 in WSET during this time and regularly hosts tastings and staff training in these sectors. She has recently started a blog on all wine, beer and spirit related beverages. You can follow her blog at suzisgrapecrush or follow Suzi on Twitter


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