How to taste wine: Five easy steps

If you’re planning to take a wine tour in Tuscany, you might be wondering how to taste
wine like a pro.

The first thing you should know is that there is no right or wrong way to do a wine
tasting. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself. Afterall, sipping Chianti in a
picturesque family vineyard is a moment to savor.
But if you want to learn more about how to appreciate the flavors and aromas of each
sip, we can break it down into five wine tasting steps (also known as the five S’s):

See the color of the wine

As a first step, take a few seconds to check out the color of the wine. It helps to hold
the glass up to the light or against a white background.
The wine’s color can tell you about its age and the grape variety. For example, Chianti
wine, made from Sangiovese grapes, is typically a ruby red to garnet color. If the wine
is young, it will look more purple. With an aged Chianti, you may notice a burnt orange
color at the edges.
Generally, wines with deeper color will have more intense flavor.

Swirl the wine in the glass

You might think that “the swirl” is just for show by “wannabe” wine connoisseurs. But, in
fact, it serves a purpose.
When you gently swirl the wine in your glass, it has greater contact with air. This helps
to release the aromas.

Also, notice whether the wine leaves trails, called “legs” on the side of the glass as you
move it. This is a sign of a higher level of alcohol or sweetness in the wine.

Smell the aromas

After a nice swirl, hold the glass under your nose and inhale the intricate scents of the
wine. This is one of the most important steps in wine tasting.
With Chianti, the first thing you’ll notice is a fruity aroma. Think about what it reminds
you of. In this case, it may be cherries, plums or violets. Secondary aromas might
include Tuscan herbs, leather or tobacco. These develop during the aging process.

Sip and taste the wine

Finally, it’s time to taste the wine. Take a small sip and let it sit on your tongue for a
moment before swallowing.
Pay attention to the different flavors and textures you experience, such as acidity,
tannins, and sweetness. Chianti wine is known for its high acidity and medium tannins,
which give it a tart, dry taste.


You may notice additional flavors after you swallow the wine. The lingering aftertaste is
known as “the finish”. Great wines will have a long and rich finish on your palate.

Of course, the best way to develop your wine tasting abilities is to practice. Book our
popular tour to three Chianti wineries for a true taste of Tuscany.