When tasting wine, the 5 ‘S’ rules of tasting will aid your olfactory senses in deciding what you like and don’t like. By following these simple rules, you will be able to tell if the wine is right for you and not tainted, as well as be able to introduce yourself as a wine connoisseur.

Swirl:  Hold the wine glass by the stem, using your thumb and forefingers, and rotate your wrist in a circular motion. As the wine swirls around, the molecules break up against the glass so that oxygen can permeate the juice; thus releasing the aromas and the flavors.

Sniff or Smell:  Hold the glass up to your nose and take in a deep breath through your nasal passages, breathing in the aromas. What odors come to mind? Closing your eyes during this exercise, may help.

Slurp:  Yes, literally “slurp” the wine through your teeth, taking in air as you do so. Combining wine and oxygen in this way, allows the flavors to intensify in your mouth in much the same way it works with the nose. You will be able to experience the flavors on your palate as the wine is “oxygenated”.

Swish:  Lazily, move the wine around all over the inside of your mouth, covering your tongue and sides. Though there are 4 known tastes to the tongue, there are millions of tastes in your mouth. Moving the wine around in this manner gets the whole palate involved and the tastes of the wine come together.

Swallow:  This is the final stage of tasting in which the wine is consumed or “finishes”. How does the wine taste in the back of the mouth? Does the taste linger after swallowing?

Tasting wheels are available and come in handy when determining how a wine tastes. The steps of swirling, sniffing, slurping, swishing and swallowing can all help you on your wine tasting adventure and your transformation into a wine connoisseur!