Sticky: Wine Tasting – How to do it?? It is all about the “S’s”…

At the urging of a good friend and confidante, I would like to ATTEMPT to discuss some of the suggested methods for wine tasting.

Wine Spectator has their “S’s”, which are (in order): SEE, SNIFF, SIP & SPIT.

SEE: “Look in the glass” and examine the color, hue, tint & depth.

SNIFF: “Smell the wine” by first swirling it in the glass to release aromas.

SIP: “Taste the wine” by swishing it in your mouth so that it reaches all taste buds. Then determine if the wine tastes sweet, tart or bitter. If it is thick and rich, crisp and refreshing or drying and astringent.

SPIT (or SWALLOW) – once the wine is no longer in your mouth (either because it is in a spit bucket or your belly) determine whether the finish of the wine (the lasting taste of the wine on your palate) maintains the flavors you just experienced when it was in your mouth and HOW LONG THE FINISH IS, or how long that flavor sits on your palate. The best wines will have a nice long finish (a minute or more) where the flavors linger on your palate.

There is also “The S’s of Wine Tasting”:


Same basic idea.

While I am an advocate of enjoying your wine with food, I have also learned that drinking wine with food will hamper one’s ability to truly analyze wine (not that analyzing wine is something everyone cares to do), as the food’s flavors will mask many of the wines flavors (yet when paired well they will enhance one another).

What I find most important in the process is the “Swishing” of the wine in one’s mouth. I am often asked why I feel the need to always do this swishing. A very legitimate question that I answer with an analogy. When I bite a food I really enjoy I chew it and do not rush to swallow, allowing me to enjoy it to its fullest. Yes, this can be (and sometimes is) a bit extreme, but it is something that works for me. Try it some time…you may discover a flavor in the wine you haven’t previously experienced…

Hope this helps & HAPPY WINE TASTING!!!


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