Host your own Wine Tasting

Tasting a trio of wines – Red or White
Suggestions for a Trio Red Wine Tasting:

  • Pinot Noir from Oregon, California or New Zealand
  • Shiraz from Australia
  • Cabernet Sauvignon from California or Chile

This tasting allows you to compare three red varietals and show different levels of tannins.

See, Sniff, Sip and Summarize!

  • Compare the colors of all three wines – purple, ruby red or tawny/amber?
  • Swirl and Sniff the Pinot, the Shiraz and lastly the Cabernet.  Can you tell a difference?  Do any aromas stand out?
  • Sip – start again and swirl, sniff then sip the Pinot, next evaluate the Shiraz and lastly sip the Cabernet.  Are the wines light or full bodied?  What are the flavors and taste?  How long is the finish?
    Acidity – Does the wine make your mouth salivate and pucker?
    Tannin – How does your mouth feel after spitting or swallowing the wine; is your mouth dried out?  This signals the wine has high levels of tannins.
  • Summarize – Put all your observations together (you may have to swirl, sniff and sip each one again) Do you like the wine?

Suggestions for a Trio of White Wine Tasting:

  1. Riesling from Alsace in France, New Zealand or Austria
  2. Sauvignon Blanc from California with minimal or no oak
  3. Chardonnay from Californian or Australia with oak

This tasting will allow you to compare three white varietals and show the influence of oak.  (Most California Chardonnay’s are made with oak while Rieslings are generally without)

The glasses from left to right, should be Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

See, Sniff, Sip, Summarize!

  • Compare the colors of all three wines – green tinged, straw or amber?
  • Swirl and Sniff the Riesling, then the Sauvignon Blanc and lastly the Chardonnay.  Can you tell a difference?
  • Sip – start again and swirl. sniff then sip the Riesling, next evaluate the Sauvignon Blanc and lastly sip the Chardonnay.  Are the wines light or full bodied?  What are the flavors and taste?  How long is the finish?
  • Summarize – Put all your observations together (you may have to swirl, sniff and sip each one again) Do you like the wine?

Tips:

  • Fill the glasses about ¼ to 1/3 full to leave room for swirling
  • Don’t wear perfume as it could interfere with the aroma of the wine
  • We’ve all heard of “legs” when referring to wines.  After swirling, you might notice rivulets of wine cascading down the side of the glass.  These are called legs.  Big or persistent legs usually mean big alcohol and big body!

Things to remember:

  • Glassware – Ideally you need fresh glasses for each wine
  • Pads & Pens – to take tasting notes
  • Spittoons – as your guests may not wish to drink
  • Water – to refresh the palette between tastings
  • Wine Pourers – to make pouring easier