Wine tasting is the sensory examination and evaluation of the qualities of the wine and consists of three phases:

1.The Visual Phase.This phase greatly affects the evaluation since it influences the taster before tasting the wine. The appearance gives an idea of the age, area, variety, production, and longevity; also two parameters are determined: the clarity and the colour (intensity and hue). Moreover, the visual phase gives us the notion of the wine’s density, fluidity, mobility, carbonic detachment, etc…

The rim of a wine (a colour that appears at the edges of the cup) and its reflections, have the same importance as the colour itself.

2.Olfactory Phase.The odour intensity is distinguished, as well as its complexity and quality. Aroma is the term used to describe the odour of young wines and “bouquet” for those that are aged. The olfactory mucosa has an area of 2 cm2, is located in the top of the nose, is a pipeline from the mouth that allows for the perception through this organ (indirect nasal route); the taste phase is always accompanied by an olfactory one.

The odours found in a wine are numerous, not all emerge at the same time, and the sensations are ephemeral. The olfactory phase is perhaps the most difficult of all, at least in terms of identification of the compound causing the odour. To date is there are still many odorant components as yet unidentified, together with the fact that these odours overlap each other creating other new ones that at the same time mask each other, making it impossible to identify many of them. The sense of smell is much more variable, less developed and sensitive than taste. There are ten aromatic series: animal, balsamic, woody, spicy, floral, fruity, chemical, empyreumatic, ethereal and vegetable. Odorant sensations are also part of the taste, body and oiliness.

3.Taste Phase.The receptive organs of taste (taste buds), are located in the tongue in an irregular manner (not all people have the same number of them). Only calceiform papillae, located on the superior portion of the tongue, and fungiform papillae located on the tip, have sensitive buttons to specific tastes. The four primary tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter, are not perceived at the same time or in the same place of the tongue. This is why when tasting a wine we can taste the sweet right away, bitter develops slowly and becomes more intense as the wine stays in the mouth and lasts a long time after the liquid expelled, acid and salt are perceived on the sides of the tongue and over it.

Wine Tasting Mechanisms

Wine tasting is carried out with approved wine glasses, holding them from the base to prevent the heat from our hands warming the liquid, and filling them a third of their capacity.


Carried out by first looking at the wine through a light to determine its clarity and brilliance and then on a white background, tilting the cup at the same time to see its colour, rim, and layer (transparency of wine). The light has to be natural.


First the still glass will be sniffed, that means smelling without moving it at all, inhaling the scents that emerge and then sniffing with the cup in motion (turning the cup round). The release of odours occurs where the different scents linger for different times, some of them can be fleeting, temporary or enduring. In a slow inhalation, 4 to 5 seconds, an increase in sensations is produced, followed by a drop and a slow extinction. We must always inhale same amount and wait a certain period of time between one inspiration and the other one.


Animals:hunting, leather, meat, skin and tanned skin.

Balsamic:menthol, eucalyptus, vanilla, oily.

Ethereal: isoamyl acetate, nail polish, acetone, aldehydes, ethanal acidic caramel, banana, yeast, sour milk, cheese, soapy.

Empyreumatic:tanned, humus, smoked fireplace, toasted bread, coffee grounds, rubber, roasted coffee, incense, fire.

Spices:cloves cinnamon, pepper, mushrooms, porcini, truffle, liquorice, garlic, onion. Flowers white, sweet, wild flowers and roses. Acid red and black fruit, ripe and ripeness, wild forest fruits, berries, bush, fruit jam, citrus, fresh fruit, stone and exotic. Nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, bitter almonds (raw). Herbs, grass, fern, sage, truffle, spring. Raft wood, cedar, cigar box, resin, vanilla, old wood, pencil.

Chemicals:hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, iodine, alcohol, medicinal.


In the sequence of perceived taste sensations in the mouth, the following phases must be distinguished: instant attack or immediate perceived taste during the first few seconds, the evolution or continuous change of sensation: the impression perceived at the end of the tasting. We will talk too about the indirect nasal route or mouth aroma and the persistence or aftertaste, all this, during the taste phase; which is the time that the sensations of the wine remain in the mouth after disposal.

The amount to ingest is 6-7 cc of wine, moving it around the mouth afterwards in order to make contact with the tongue and palate, at the same time small amounts of air are inhaled to intensify the mouth aroma, the wine is kept 10 seconds in the mouth before expelling it.

© 2013 Lealtadis Datos