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Tips for tasting wine

Anyone can taste wine. The four steps to wine tasting are: look, swirl, smell and taste.

Look: Look at the colour of the wine. White wines should be bright, and red wines should have a saturated colour.

Swirl: To release the aromas of a wine, swirl it in the glass and then give it a deep sniff . Repeat as necessary, taking notes.

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Smell: Identify aromas by breathing through your nose. Citrus, orchard or tropical fruits can be noticed in whites, and red fruits, blue fruits or black fruits in red wines.

Taste: Take a good-size sip. Hold the wine in your mouth; swish it around, allowing it to coat your entire palate. Draw in some air be-tween your front teeth or across your tongue and “gargle” the wine in your mouth. Is the wine thin and acidic or rich and velvety?

Take notes as far as you go regarding aromas, flavour, light and crispiness, rough or smoothness and how long it lingers on your palate.

Compare notes and discuss the different wines, tasting notes, likes and dislikes. As you discuss the wines, taste them again to see whether they have changed with aeration. Notice how some improve and grow richer while others lose their shape and freshness.

Vote for your favourite wines and see how good a wine taster you are when the labels are revealed.

Save your notes so that you can recall your preferences the next time you‘re buying wine.

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