How to Do An At-Home Wine Tasting
Consider this your Masterclass in casual wine tasting. Don't panic, it's gonna be fun and easy!
Remember those warm and sunny weekends when you would throw on a cute outfit and maybe a fabulous sun hat, hop in the car, and head out to visit your favorite winery? Us too. We sure are missing our time in the tasting room these days.
Even if you can't be at your favorite winery IRL, you can still put together a fun and functional wine tasting from home (pants and bras are optional). At the end of the day, wine tasting is just taking a minute to slow down and really think about the wine that is in your glass.
1) Choose Your Wines
The most important part of a wine tasting? The wine part! You can choose a flight – typically 4 to 6 different wines — based on region, type of wines, or honestly whatever you have on hand! We’ve put together three fun wine tasting bundles — Red, White and Sweet — that come with special-made, downloadable scorecards and tasting note booklets.
2) Arrange and Pour
Go ahead and grab some glassware, even if it’s just a few mason jars (no judgment). Begin by pouring yourself a little bit of each wine to start (you can get into the rest of the bottle later). A general rule of thumb for ordering your wine flights is to go from dry and light to bold and heavy and finish with sweet.
3) Swirl and Sniff
Give your glass a swirl: We like to set our glass down on the table while we do this so that it doesn't splash all over the place. Swirling the wine exposes it to oxygen and releases all of those yummy aromatics (smells) that waft out of the top of the glass.
Take three quick sniffs and continue swirling in between smells to bring out more of the aromas. Hopefully, you got a good whiff there, so take a moment to think about what you've just encountered.
Some questions to consider:
- What does this wine smell like?
- Is it earthy like fresh soil, ground coffee, or dark chocolate?
- Is it fruity like a raspberry, a cherry, an apple, or a peach?
- Are the aromas pretty straight forward (smells like a pineapple) or is there a lot going on there (smells like a fruit salad)?
- Does the way the wine smells remind you of anything?
- If the wine were a song, what would it be?
Here's an example:
- If our Diva Sangiovese were a song, it would be Hot Stuff by Donna Summer. Energetic, easy to love, and fun every time. It has a savory taste, a little bit oaky, and would go perfect with pasta puttanesca with a healthy topping of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Take a moment to write down whatever comes to mind. (There are no wrong answers!)
4) Swirl and Sip
Give the wine another hefty swirl and take a sip while also taking in the aromas through your nose. Most of the taste is actually smell, so it's helpful that you be able to smell the wine as it splashes across your taste buds.
Some questions to consider:
- What does it taste like?
- Is it sweet like a piece of fruit or candy?
- Is it tart like a lemon?
- Is it kind of bitter like baking cocoa or black coffee? If this wine were a dance move what would it be?
- Would this wine maybe taste better with food, or is it great all on its own?
- If you were going to make something tasty to eat with it, what would it be?
- Would this wine maybe taste better with food, or is it great all on its own? If you were going to make something tasty to eat with it, what would it be?
Here's another example:
- If our Penetration Cabernet Sauvignon were a dance, it would be a tango. Direct, to the point, and very sexy. We smell a hint of dark fruity flavors and a hint of cloves. It would taste great with a rack of medium-rare lamb, range chimichurri sauce and wild rice pilaf.
5) Cleanse and repeat
For best results, make sure you cleanse your palette between glasses with a small sip of water. Continue to swirl, smell, and taste each wine as often as you like and see what flavors and aromas continue to jump out at you. A wine tasting is like dating your taste buds—use this time to find out what wines you really love! Be sure to make some notes about it on your Naked scorecard and...voila!
Look at you, enjoying a fancy at-home wine tasting!
We did say it would be easy and hopefully, you're having fun with it too!
If you want to learn a little more (and drink at the same time) here are two of our favorite club members trying out the mix bundle to show you how it's done!
We are looking forward to the day when we get to see you in our tasting rooms and pour you wine and catch up for hours. But until then, we hope you get the chance to relax and enjoy some fantastic flights at home! Be sure to continue enjoying the wines you like, with the people you love, in the spaces you are allowed to share.