How do we conduct wine tasting?

  1. Sight
  2. Sniff
  3. Swirl
  4. Sip


  • Wine tasting is a delightful and educational experience, especially for beginners, and it's conducted with the 4 S's – sight, sniff, swirl, and sip.
  • Conducting wine tasting involves complex procedures that are acquired through experience.
  • Flamingo Wine & Spirits offers quality wines and liquor from around the world, with experts to guide customers.

Wine tasting is a delightful part of dining, allowing us to appreciate the craftsmanship behind this beverage. While it can seem daunting, especially for beginners, it's also entertaining and educational.

In this article, we explore how to conduct wine tasting with the 4 S’s– sight, sniff, swirl, and sip. These steps help you recognize the wine’s characteristics.

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Humans are visually oriented, and attractive packaging or a visually appealing wine label can influence perceptions of taste even before the first sip. Thus, sight is important to wine tasting as it provides initial cues about the wine's quality and characteristics.

The color and clarity indicate its age, varietal, and potential flavors. Older red wines can look more cloudy with a pale orange hue. Younger wines are clearer and brighter. Unlike red wines that lose their vibrant colors as they age, white wines are the opposite. They start as a watery yellow and age to be slightly golden.

The clarity of the wine shows its quality. Cloudy wines indicate traditional methods, while clear ones suggest filtration. Tilting your glass at a 30 to 45-degree angle helps see the color gradient from edge to core, enhancing your wine-tasting experience.


Flavors and aromas are heavily intertwined when it comes to describing wine. Smelling does not compare to tasting, but it is still important because smell generally influences how our brains process flavors. Our tongue can only do so much to describe wine and the complex flavors brought in by quality winemaking.

For white wines, they are often smell more citrusy, floral, and tropical. Red wines, on the other hand, smell more like raspberries, strawberries, cherries, or pomegranates.

When smelling wine, there are three aroma categories: primary (grape variety), secondary (fermentation-derived), and tertiary (aging). For instance, Château La Dominique 2019 offers aromas like blackberries, vanilla, cherries, and blackcurrants. An aroma wheel can help identify these complex fragrances in this famous Bordeaux wine.


Swirling your wine is an important step in wine tasting because it introduces oxygen to your drink. It is common knowledge that oxygen can change the sensory characteristics of wine. That is why winemakers choose the best materials to store and age their wine in like barrels, but this does not mean that oxygen has a bad effect on wine.

The complex flavors and aromas of wine come into complete fruition when it comes in contact with air. It releases a wider range of fragrances that can add to your wine experience. When wine tasters swirl their wine, it is often noticed that there is a slight difference in aroma when sniffed before and after this step

Pour 4 to 6 ounces of wine into your glass for a full-tasting experience. Leave room for swirling to enhance the aroma and flavor. When swirling, avoid aggressive movements and use your non-dominant hand to gently aerate the wine.


To complete your wine-tasting journey, the final step is sipping, the most crucial in appreciating winemaking.

After a medium-sized sip, don't consume immediately; gently roll the wine in your mouth. The first sip helps acclimate your palate and assess the wine's weight and texture.

The second sip, taken after holding your breath, allows for deeper flavor exploration. Note details like aftertastes, acidity, and texture, especially in wines like Château Le Bon Pasteur 2019, which offers flavors of blackberries, cherries, herbs, and smokiness. When tasting multiple wines, the last 'S' in this how-to conduct wine tasting guide is often spitting to maintain clarity for subsequent samples.

Key Takeaway

Beyond the primary and dominant aromas and flavors found in wine, it's the subtle nuances of these same characteristics that truly enhance the allure of this timeless beverage. Conducting wine tasting may appear as straightforward as following four simple steps, yet in reality, it involves intricate tasting procedures that are refined through experience.

If you’re looking to add variety to your wines or simply learn all about them, you can stop by or check out of physical and online store at Flamingo Wine & Spirits. We offer you quality wine and liquor from all over the world. Contact us and explore wines with the guidance of our experts.