To fully appreciate each wine, it's useful to know a little about how to taste it. These easy steps will make even the most casual quaffer seem like a serious sommelier (beard and outsized wine glass are optional).
Practice makes perfect, so try it with a nice Honest Grapes wine or, even better, with our at-home wine tasting kit.
Tilt the wine glass so that you can see the core (central) colour and observe changes toward the rim. Look for clean or dull colours and the level of viscosity.
Tom's Tip: Professional wine buyers make 80% of their decisions on sight and smell alone - slow down before your first sip.
Swirl the wine in your glass to allow aromas to escape from the surface. Sniff deeply and, if you are comparing wines, move from one to the other to establish the differences. Look out for fruity, floral, vegetal, spicy, animal or roasted smells (in that order).
Tom’s tip: Easy-drinking wines are often easy on the nose, with simple fruity aromas. Wines with multiple layers and types of aroma make for a more fascinatingly complex experience.
Imagine you are slurping ramen noodles. Coat your tongue with the wine and experience its full flavour sensation. Taste sweetness, acidity, tannins, alcohol, fullness of body and flavours.
Tom's Tip: Try leaving some wine in your glass and come back to it at least a couple of times to see how it develops on your palate.
Enjoy the aftertaste and try to describe the experience and longevity in your mind.
Tom's Tip: That feeling of interest and complexity in experience and persistence on the tongue signifies quality in wine.