Sometimes I really struggle at wine tastings, especially when they’re full of wine industry people. My wine knowledge is nowhere near as good as it use to be as quite simply I’m not around it all day everyday.
When I moved to Perth I decided to follow my love of working in the online world. I now have a day job that I absolutely love. I work in online marketing at a boutique Perth agency which specialises in SEO. My passion for the world of wine fits in and around it, whether that be typing up blog posts on my phone on the train, scheduling social media posts on my lunch break or doing online wine courses in the evenings.
Because I’m not learning and around wine day in and day out I’ve incorporated the below tips into my lifestyle which help me learn and improve my wine knowledge daily. They’re small tips and tricks which will help you improve your palate and understating of the world of wine whether you’re a newbie to wine tasting or more experienced.
So grab a glass of vino, sit back and enjoy. If you have a fab tip of your own, make sure to comment at the end of this post.
1. Smell and taste as many different fruits and veggies. Every morning I have a home-made fruit salad – I buy whatever is on special at the supermarket and in season. I make sure I give everything a good whiff before devouring. By doing this I’m working on cementing flavour profiles in my memory which helps me to distinguish flavours and aromas in wines. If you want to be extra creepy, you could always smell all the fruits and veggies in the store next time you’re shopping! Plus don’t forget to smell all the spices, herbs, meats and flowers as you can – even more aromas and flavours to add to your repertoire.
2. Try as many new wines and wine styles as possible. Branch out from your favourite tipple. This is so integral in understanding wines. A great tasting I went to recently was where 3 winemakers each crafted a Chardonnay from the same block of grapes. It was amazing to see, smell and taste how different each variation of the same product was. I know it’s hard to sometimes get out of your comfort zone but do it! Every Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc and Shiraz will taste different, never say you don’t like something! The best way to try as many different styles as you can cheaply is by visiting cellar doors or going to wine festivals, tastings are usually free or at a small charge. Always say yes to the ‘do you just want to start at the top and go through all the wines’ question. (I need to take my own advice as it’s typically always bubbles or Chardonnay in the TC household).
3. Give each wine more than one chance. I love experimenting with wines at home. Sometimes it’s with temperature. I might try a white straight out of the fridge and find it’s rather closed and tasteless, yet after leaving the bottle out for 20 minutes the warmed up liquid is racing with flavour. Or with a red, I’ll try it first straight from the bottle, then the second glass I’ll pour it through my on-glass aerator. Don’t be scared to experiment. A wine can even taste different due to the atmosphere around you, perhaps you’re listening to jazz with your sweetie or you’re in the middle of a family argument. Your feelings and thoughts on a wine can be impacted by your emotions.
4. Talk, write & read about each wine. I know sometimes it may seem like a chore however writing a tasting note has now become a must for me. It makes me think about each and every wine, what it looks like, smells like, tastes like and feels like. Don’t ever think your opinions on a wine are wrong. Your opinions on a wine comes down to you, if you like it and think it tastes like cigars and strawberry jam then that’s great! I always write my note first and then I’ll do a bit of a Google search to find out more about how it was made. At the end of the day the only opinion that’s right is yours.
So what’s your ultimate tip to become a better wine taster today? Comment below!