The following is a simple, standard set of steps for evaluating a wine.  In this illustration, we are concentrating on the characteristics of a red wine you might be tasting:

 
 
 
 
 
1. LOOK.  Is the color of the wine deep, hazy, opaque, inky dark or intense?


2.  NOSE.  The nose is the smell of the wine.  What aromas do you detect?  Does it smell like berries, cherries, vanilla, plum, currant, smoky, fruity, or tobacco, for example?


3. TASTE IT.  Swirl the glass a bit and then sip and hold the wine in your mouth for a moment.  Here are some things to consider when tasting:
 
a. Temperature   Red wines usually need to breathe for from a few minutes up to an hour after opening.  This 'opens up' or unlocks the flavors.  Reds are generally served at room temperature as opposed to whites, which are served chilled.  If red wine is too cold, it won't be as flavorful.
 
b. Body   Is the wine light, medium or full-bodied?

  c. Flavor   What exactly are you tasting.  Are these flavors subtle or intense?
 
d. Mouthfeel   Sweet or sour (dry), tart or crisp acidity, bitternessor astringency (tannins) and savoriness (called "umami") all should be noted.
 
e. Balance   Do all the flavors and sensations of the wine seem in balance?  Do they create a harmonious, elegant or unbalanced effect?  
 
f. Finish   Do the flavors linger or do they end quickly?  Are other flavors or sensations apparent in the finish?


4.  SUMMARIZE.  What stands out about this wine?  What didn't you like about the wine?  Is it a good value?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DID YOU KNOW THAT CALIFORNIA ZINFANDEL GRAPES ARE ORIGNALLY FROM CROATIA, AND THAT ZINFANDEL IS GENETICALLY SIMILAR TO "PRIMITIVO" WINE FROM ITALY?
 
 
MANY PEOPLE PREFER "VALPOLICELLA" and "BARDOLINO" WINE WITH ITALIAN FOOD.  DID YOU KNOW THAT A CHIANTI AND A SANGIOVESE ARE THE SAME THING? 
 
 
DID YOU KNOW THAT A "MERITAGE" IS BASICALLY AN AMERICAN BORDEAUX? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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