The Secret to Proper Wine Tasting

wine tasting

If you are on your way to one of our Niagara wine tours, it’s important that you know the right way to taste the wines that the winery will be offering. That doesn’t mean you need to be one of the keen eyed wine reviewers that sits in the corner dissecting every minute detail in their glass, but it does mean you should focus your energies on both enjoying and understanding each wine you taste.


You’ll quickly find that there is more than one way to taste wine. Too much focus on something you do not understand can make your trip far less enjoyable.

Basic Tasting – For those new to wine tasting who may not know or care what the difference between white and red wine is, the best route is to start with five basic bottles – a light red, a mature red, a sweet white, a dry white, and a dessert wine.

Intermediate Tasting – If you are more familiar with the differences between wines, you should choose five varietals to taste. For example, you might choose a Zinfandel, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Bordeaux – allowing you to delineate the differences between five traditional red wines. Another popular route is to choose multiple regions for the same wine and taste how they have been developed differently.

Advanced Tasting – For those with more advanced tastes, you should choose between horizontal and vertical tasting. Horizontal tasting would be to taste the same wine from the same year from different wineries. Vertical tasting would be to taste the same wine from the same winery from different years.


How you taste will also be a factor in your experience. You can choose to taste your wine blindly or with all of the details at your disposal. Most competitions and ratings are done blindly to ensure there is no bias in the tasting of the wines. However, less experienced tasters might be interested to see what they are tasting or perhaps missing in their wine.

Additionally, it is important to taste the wines in the right order, with the youngest first, followed by lightest, and finishing with fuller body wine. If you do this in reverse order, the bolder wines will overwhelm what you taste in the younger wines.

For those interested in tasting wine and learning to discern the different qualities in each type of wine, there are a number of different options. The key, though, is that you enjoy the tasting. Expecting too much of yourself can be detrimental to the process, turning the tasting into more of a chore than an enjoyable experience.

If you’re planning on visiting the Niagara region be sure to book your stay through our Bed and Breakfast accommodations and check out our Niagara winery locator to plan your wine tour.

Have some tips our readers might enjoy for wine tasting? Please share them in our comments section below.

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