Tasting with the Wine List

July 8, 2021

Wine is the most popular alcoholic drink in the UK these days, even though 20% of British adults don't drink.

But how do you learn about wine? There's certified wine courses like the WSET, but it is time-consuming and expensive. You can buy wine tasting books, but they can be dense, long and - quite frankly - dull.

At the Wine List, we want to make wine tasting accessible, fun and easy to do.

That's why we launched our By the Glass subscription.

What is By the Glass?

In a restaurant, 'by the glass' refers to the wine options you can order from a menu that come in single glass servings. So with By the Glass, you receive something similar: each month, our box includes three 100ml glasses of wine from lesser-known regions and grapes.

By trying wines that you won't find in the supermarket, By the Glass is a great way to discover new aromas and wine characteristics you might not usually notice. You'll also be able to develop your own palate and decide what kind of wine you like, and why.

Each wine comes with a tasting note which includes information about the grape, region, winemaker as well as suggested food pairings and advanced learnings. Over time, you'll begin to recognise certain characteristics in wine and attribute them to the grape, region or wine methods used to make them.

Every month, we host a live tasting on our YouTube channel, where our Head of Wine, Isabelle, guides us through the tasting notes and different wines. This is a great way to test your knowledge, compare your findings and connect with others in the Wine List community.

But how does a wine tasting work? Here are our tips for setting up:

How to do a wine tasting

  • Prepare Your Set Up: Use a glass with a tapered top to trap the wine’s aromas, get your tasting cards ready and make sure your wine is the correct temperature. Different wines are best drank at different temperatures, so keep that in mind. 
  • Notes on Appearance: Tilt your glass and look at it against a white surface (this can be the tasting cards). Is is translucent? Or almost opaque? Jot down your thoughts on the tasting card. '1' is see-through, going up to the other end which you can't see through at all.
  • Smell the Wine: What aromas come to you when you first smell the wine? Circle them on the two tasting wheels on your tasting card. What fruit is there? Can you identify spices? More complex characteristics will be in the second of the two tasting wheels.
  • Taste for Characteristics: As you did with colour, try and work out how high (or low) other characteristics of the wine is. Does it feel tannic, where your mouth dries out? Has it got a lot of body? And how long does the finish linger after tasting? Different styles of wine will have certain characteristics. 
  • Make Notes: Is the wine typical of the grape, style and region? Did you enjoy it? What might you pair this wine with?

Want to make the most of your wine tasting experience? 

At Wine List, we want to help you learn about wine in a flexible, non-pretentious way.

Our By The Glass wine subscription includes three glasses of wines from lesser-known regions and producers to broaden your wine knowledge. Each box comes with detailed tasting notes, wine-related lessons and access to virtual live monthly tastings.

Sign up for your free trial box now

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