The Five S’s of Wine Tasting

The Five S’s of Wine Tasting


Wine tasting shouldn’t be intimidating or hard to approach, in fact, anyone can (and should) do it! Treating each glass of wine like a unique sensory experience will help you identify different flavors and appreciate each sip all the more. It will also help you narrow down what kind of flavor profiles you enjoy most. Teach friends and impress colleagues with these simple steps;. Show off your wine knowledge with dazzling confidence!

First thing’s first: Pick your favorite Maddalena varietal. Better yet, try them all! Curate a wine night for your friends centered around the Maddalena collection and have fun finding out the unique flavors you each taste in the wines.


The first step any time you try a new wine should be looking at it from just about every angle in the glass. Tilt it forward, tilt it backwards, tilt it side to side. Does the color gradient change? Is it a deeper or lighter color than you’ve seen in the varietal before? Is it cloudy with sediment or clear and crisp? For example, our Maddalena Rosé is a distinct, deep flamingo pink color due to the unique blend of Grenache, Primitivo, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache Blanc grapes. Seek the story behind the color of your wine.


Now it’s time to swirl, swirl, swirl. Hold your glass by the base of the stem and move your hand in a circular motion. Is it light or viscous? Does your wine have legs (also called ‘tears’)? This step in the exercise can you help you to determine what texture of wine to expect. It also allows air to enter the wine, which releases the flavors of the wine into the glass. This aids in the next step…


A veritable bouquet of smells and aromas await – don’t be shy, stick your nose right into the top of the glass and take a deep sniff. You’ll get an even better idea of the flavor palate if you open your mouth slightly while you sniff. Is it perfumed and flowery? Earthy and rich? Do you smell certain fruits or spices? Introducing the ‘nose’ of the wine to your brain by smell before taste will actually prepare your olfactory senses to anticipate the flavors of the wine. This allows your palate to expand and causes you to taste more when you finally….


Ah, without a doubt the best part of any wine tasting! In this step you should be sure to sip and swish! When you take your first sip of wine, let it settle over your tongue before you swish, making sure it permeates your taste buds so that you can taste as much of the flavor profile as possible. You may have noticed that when experts taste wine, they suck in air before swishing it around – this introduction of more air further breaks down the bouquet of the wine. What do you taste?


When it comes time to finally swallow the wine, it is important to pay attention to how long the wine flavors stay on your tongue and in your throat. This is called the finish, and it can either be short or long. Often times, you taste new flavors that you didn’t before.