Wine Tasting: A Guide to Getting the Most out of Your Sips

When we think about wine tasting, we often associate it with a pretentiousness that can leave many of us feeling insecure. But the truth is, wine tasting is a relaxing experience fit for any novice. Here in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the wineries make sure their customers feel comfortable by creating an inclusive environment. Although there’s a distinct science behind making and tasting your favourite wines, a few good tips can lead to more delightful sips. So read on for ways to get the most out of your next tasting adventure!

Look Inside the Glass

Tip the glass slightly sideways and stare into it. Then hold it to the light and let the liquids touch the edges of the glass. By doing this, you’re getting a complete look at the wine’s range of colour. You’ll notice that as wines age, the hues become richer. For example, reds will exhibit hints of brown while whites will become golden.

Give It a Good Swirl

By swirling the glass, you’re not only letting the wine “breathe” — you’re also getting a chance to judge its quality. Keep the glass stem on a flat surface and make small circular motions. If the wine creates “tears” that run down the sides of the glass, this indicates the product has more glycerin and alcohol content. This results in a better-tasting wine that’s bold and rich in flavour.

Smells Reveal Wonderful Attributes

Although one may assume wine tasting is all about the tongue, the nose can detect hundreds of different characteristics. Hold the glass up to your nose and take a few quick sniffs. Internalize what you smell. Any fruits, flowers, herbs? If you cannot make any distinct assumptions, don’t fret. Although it’s fun to guess what flavours are in the glass, it’s not crucial for an enjoyable wine tasting experience.

Taste Test: Saving the Best for Last

Because different parts of the tongue taste different things, it’s important to swirl the wine around in your mouth to experience its complexity. The back of the tongue will detect bitterness, while the tip will sense sweetness. Be sure to take very small sips and hold the wine in your mouth for a good five seconds before swallowing. Does the wine taste ‘balanced’ — as in does it exhibit a wide range of characteristics? A good product will never taste too bitter, too sweet or too acidic. It should be harmonious and pleasant with a taste that lingers, even after you swallow!

Surroundings are Everything

So much of wine tasting is about the conditions around you. A noisy room or a crowded hall can make concentration difficult, which can keep you from differentiating between a good product and a bad one. Many wineries are also attached to restaurants. Sometimes, cooking smells or even perfumes can affect the experience. When booking a winery tour, opt for an intimate one that features small groups.

At Lakelands B&B, we’re more than happy to arrange winery tours for our guests. Simply head over to our Packages page and book the one that’s right for you. Early risers will love the Sip & Savour Morning Tour. And those looking for a romantic evening out will certainly appreciate the Sip & Dine Tour. If you have any questions about how to enhance your stay, simply get in touch. June and Zoli await your arrival!