How to Look like a Wine Professional

Wine is an amalgam of life style, experiences, tradition and culture. And, in my opinion, some fun!

There are entire books written on this subject, so I thought we would focus this article on an evening at your friend’s house–who also happens to be a wine snob. Let’s hit on a few words you may see or hear. And, then a few pointers on how to look like an expert wine taster.


When someone refers to the fruit–they’s talkoig about the actual grape. Likewise, terroir is all about the soil, weather and geographic location.

Typical bottles of wine are 750 ml and go up from there in , which is just over 25 ounces… Or, a 5 ounce pour into five glasses.

Fermented Grapes –¬†Technically, wine can be made with any fruit (i.e. apples, cranberries, plums, etc) but most wines are made with wine grapes.

Vintage (or wine-making age) tells us when the grapes were harvested. Occasionally we run into a bottle marked as NV (or Non-Vintage). This is typically on sparkling wine and indicates that the juice from more than one vintage was used in the final bottling.


See, swirl, sniff, sip and savor

Never smell the cork–just squeeze

A note on Champagne–the smaller the pop, the better–don’t want to waste those precious bubbles.

Hold the glass by the stem or by the base.



The taste starts with: “Oh, tastes like red wine!” and eventually progresses to identification of specific flavors.

Cost? A $15 bottle can be excellent and a $100 bottle could be “junk”.




Enjoy! Feel free to smell, look at the color, and taste.

Or don’t…

Everyone has a different set of taste buds–just because I love a particular bottle, it doesn’t mean you will. Taste is subjective.

In the end, it’s all about the practice… We’re fortunate that our area has ample opportunities for tastings. Could the be a Saturday afternoon at a local wine shop or a high-end wine pairing event in the City. Expert wine type: Don’t wear perfume or cologne to those wine driven event–your extra scents interfere with the overall experience of others.


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