Ever wanted to host a wine tasting but didn’t know where to start? We feel you. Sometimes we like to call sipping from a bottle on our couch in sweatpants a ‘wine tasting’ (we technically are tasting wine) but we know we’re kidding ourselves. It’s time to get fancy, pop some corks and lay out a tablecloth to have a legitimate wine tasting.
One of the most important aspects to a wine tasting (aside from gathering up a passionate group of winos) is the order in which you taste your wine. Not only will sipping vino in the correct order enhance your experience, but it will also help make sure you don’t spoil your palette the further you get down your line of wines. In case you didn’t have a good idea as to how to taste your wines, we compiled a little guide for your sipping delights.
Before you get too deep in your tasting, pop open the bubbly and toast to your guests. Sparkling wine is light and semi-sweet, aka the perfect start to your tasting.
Whites Before Reds
You probably could have guessed this one, because we know you’re a smart wino, but you want to make sure you start off tasting whites before you move onto reds. For a number of reasons, whites are simply better to start sipping at the beginning of a wine tasting. Your tongue won’t get all dry from the heavy tannins in red wines, and the light, crisp whites will ease you into the red varietals. So be sure to taste Chardonnay before Pinot Noir.
Dry Before Sweet
Dry wines like Riesling should always be sipped prior to Moscato. Doing so vice-versa will cause the sugary vino to create a more acidic feeling on your tongue when moving onto drier wines. And we def don’t want that.
Light Body Before Heavy Body
Trying to taste a light-bodied wine after a heavy-bodied one is like trying to eat a side salad after you’ve scarfed down a juicy, meaty burger. It’s just not right. Hence why those teensy salads come before your heavy entree. Well, the same thing goes for wine. Be sure to dive into your full-bodied Petite Sirah after you’re finished sipping on some Grenache.
Young before Old
With wine, the older the better (or more robust). And since older wines typically have more complex, developed flavors, it’s best to taste them after you taste younger vinos. It’s just better for the tongue, and who are we to argue?
Anything before Dessert Wine
Also known as Fortified Wine, Dessert Wine (as its name suggests) is super sweet. Because of this, it’s best to have save them until the end of your tasting. Going back to our third rule, Dry Before Sweet, Dessert Wine follows the exact same pattern. They also have a higher alcohol content, due to additional spirits. So you can look forward to ending your wine tasting with something sweet. Cheers!
Sources: First Pour Wine