How to Taste Wine at Home

February 3, 2021

It’s been almost a year since coronavirus hit the UK and we were first ordered to stay home in March 2020. In that time, watching the resourcefulness of bars and bottle shops adapt to selling online has offered a glimmer of hope for the hospitality industry. 

Throughout the country, we’ve seen bars become convenience stores and pubs turn into fully-fledged takeaways. But, what does this mean for wine tasting? 

For now, wine tastings at wineries, bars or tasting events are still a long way off. That doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the experience within the comfort of your living room, however. So the question remains: 

How do you taste wine at home?

  1. Choose your wines: Try something you haven’t before - this is a good place to build up your wine knowledge and work our your taste preferences. 
  2. Consider your glassware: Glasses don’t need to be expensive, but a good tasting glass should taper towards the top to capture aromas. 
  3. Swirl, sniff, sip: Swirling wine around your glass will aerate it, so that aromas will come to the top of the nose. Take a sip, gargle and spit it out. 
  4. Take Notes: Which aromas stand out? Jot them down and try the wine again. Does the aromas and characteristics match the grape and region? 

What to look out for

Tasting wine doesn’t have to be complicated. Put aside an evening when you’ll be distraction free and can make the most of your wine tasting. Here are a few pointers to help you on your way:

  • Have a white surface or piece of paper nearby so you can look at the colour in the wine. Is it clear or almost opaque? 
  • How acidic is the wine? You can test this by doing the “dribble test”. Have a sip, hang your head over and see how many seconds pass before you salivate. A really acidic wine will do this almost straight away. 
  • Is it full-bodied? A good way to make sense of this is to compare it to milk. As our Head of Wine Isabelle says, a full-bodied wine will feel like full fat milk. Light-bodied will be like skimmed milk, and medium-bodied in between. 

Check out our blog post on how to taste wine for more information.

Want to make the most of your wine tasting? 

At Wine List, we want to help you learn about wine in a flexible, non-pretentious way. Our monthly wine subscription includes two wines from lesser-known regions and producers to broaden your wine knowledge. Each wine comes with a detailed tasting note, complete with food pairings and trivia. 

Our 12-month wine learning course, Wine Roots, is included with our subscription. Each month, you learn about the different principles of wine including region, taste, climate and production. By the end of the year, you’ll be able to read a wine list at a restaurant with confidence.

Want to take your tasting skills to the next level? Sign up for £39 per month. 

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