Do wine tastings give you stress? Does the awkwardness unwantedly stream out of your orifices accompanied by equally unwelcome body hair? We understand. You’re not sure how to behave. You’re unsure about what you can do and more importantly about what you can’t do. With these 7 tips, however, you’ll become a wine tasting aficionado in no time.
Just follow these basic rules and say goodbye to wine tasting anxiety.
- Swirl. For god’s sake, swirl your wine. Raise the arm holding the glass high, in a 90-degree angle with your body. Then proceed to move it around so the wine starts swirling. Make large gestures with your arm and speed up as you go along. You’re not swirling hard enough if your arm doesn’t ache.
- Sniff the wine, inhale it. How else are you going to catch those delicate notes of orange peel and cloves? Press the mouth of the glass onto your face. Then take a couple of large breaths, almost like you’re trying to suck the wine in your nose. You know you’re doing it right if after your sniffing session the impression of the glass left a red circle on your face.
- Gurgling is of the essence in order to release a wine’s delicate aroma. After gurgling spit it out. It’s a tasting, not drinking, event after all. It’s recommended to bring an empty plastic bottle to spit the wine in. Use it the next day to make a hearty stew or sneak it into work, telling your coworkers it’s grape juice.
- Correct the other attendants if they’re behaving the wrong way. They are probably as uncomfortable as you first were. Your help will be greatly appreciated as you’ve made them more comfortable now.
- Help the sommelier in describing the wines. Add your own remarks and jokes. Wine tastings are a place for learning and learning happens through interaction. Your opinion matters. So put it out there, people will be glad to hear it.
- Haggle and barter. When you’ve found a wine you like, try to think of as many reasons why it should cost less than the actual price. Use every means necessary to get a discount. Wine tasting after all is subjective and this should be reflected in the pricing as well.
- Correct people when they’re pronouncing certain words or names wrong. Even if you’re not sure what the right way is. It’s always better to be confident and wrong than shy and right.
Adhere to these basic principles and every wine tasting you attend will be an immense success. Cheers!
PS: seriously, don’t be that guy. Please.
[Article by Alexander Eeckhout]