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5 S's of Wine


Sight is the first step before you actually taste wine. The color of the wine comes from the contact with the grape’s skin after the grapes have been juiced. The longer the wine is in contact with the skins the darker and deeper the color of the wine. If you didn’t have contact with the skins you wine would have no color at all. The skins of the grape contain many characteristics that enhance the flavor of the wine similar to the zest of a lemon or lime. They also contact histamines which often cause headaches in people that have allergies and red wine would have more histamines because the skins have more contact with the grape.

White wines will be more yellow or straw like the more contact with the skin of the grape.

Red wines that have little contact with the skin of the grape are called Rose and will be more pink in color. They should show a tart or fresh tasting because it is light. These are not sweet wines. Sweet wines are called blush wines and receive their color using two different methods.

The saignee method first uses juice from red grapes and just a bit of the grape skin’s pigment is bled into the wine. They control how long the juice comes in contact with the grape. The second method is by adding a dash of red wine to white wine and viola you have a Rose. Wines identified as Rose are usually a dry wine. White Zinfandel is considered a blush wine and is pink in color. The difference is the crops are harvested early at a lower brix to retain acidity and vented with more residual sugar or adding concentrated sugars to produce a sweeter lower alcohol wine.

Start by tilting your glass and holding the wine in the light. The deeper and darker the color of the wine means that it has had much time in contact with the skins of the grape and that it was aged in oak barrels. This makes the wine bold and rich and the oak barrels help to mellow the wine.

The grape Pinot Noir has some of the thinnest skins of all grapes and some of the most difficult to grow. Pinot Noir wine should be red in color, but translucent enough that you can read text through the glass.


Why should you swirl your wine? Well you look cool by doing it, and like you know what you are doing

but just make sure you have the proper glass otherwise you might swirl that wine right over the lip of the glass. The glass is large so you can swirl the wine and why it should not be filled up to the top. Tell me that has happened here in York…. A standard pour of wine should be 5 ounces.

The first reason is that it allows some small part to evaporate and some of the volatile compounds will dissipate like sulfides and sulfites. Secondly it will allow the wine to breath. The oxygen actually attaches itself to the tannins and helps to round them out. Young wine is often decanted. The oxygen will help to open up the wine and activates and concentrates the aromas of the wine


As wine ages, chemical reactions among the acids and sugars create new smells that are knows as a wine’s bouquet. Your sense of smell goes hand in hand with tasting. You know that if you have a cold your taste changes because you lose the ability to smell. Smell offers you a preview of what you will later taste. Your smell and taste and linked in your brain and you should always smell before you taste. Your glass should also be large enough at the top for your nose to fit inside the glass to take in the aromas inside the glass and breath in deeply. Is the wine grassy, earthy, smell of citrus, blackberry strawberry or maybe it is floral?

It doesn’t hurt to swirl and smell a few times to try to identify all the aromas.

Sip and Savor

First I would like to say, you guzzle beer and down shots. We don’t do this with wine. You gently sip the wine by taking a small amount into your mouth and hold it in the center. Draw your lips like you were going to whistle and draw a little air across your tongue, pause for a moment, and swish the wine around your mouth before you swallow the wine.

You should also have a wine glass with a thin lip – this allows the wine to roll from the glass pleasantly into your mouth without distraction from the glass.

The savoring comes in during that moment you paused and swished the wine around your mouth. Your taste buds will note the presence of fruit, acidity, and alcohol. The tannins will make you cheeks feel like a puckering sensation. Sweet wines are detected from the tip of your tongue. Ever had the taste of the wine linger in our mouth after you swallow. The longer it stays usually detects higher quality wine.

Now repeat these steps and enjoy! Everyone’s palate for drinking wine is different

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