Become a Wine Tasting Pro in Five Minutes!

winesnobOk, maybe it’s going to take a little longer than that, but over the next five days we’ll be posting the five steps to wine tasting. Read our articles and you will amaze your friends, impress your next date, and gain confidence in your ability to hold your own amongst your wine connoisseur peers! Californians are the first to brag about the amazing wine country we’ve been blessed with and if you’ve been on the road to Napa or Sonoma in the last two decades, you’ve either seen the limosines and party buses lining the way or more likely been on one. Incidentally, contrary to popular belief, the stability bars inside these vehicles are for safety purposes and shouldn’t be confused with stripper poles. (You know who you are.)

The first order of business when sampling some of the west coast’s finest is to assess its color. Hold your glass of vino against a white or light background.

Generally, a white wine increases its color with age and will grow darker when stored in an oak barrel as so many are. Red wines, in contrast, will often lose their boldness over time. The more you take notice of your wines, especially in side by side comparisons, the easier it will be to see the differences in their shade caused by its type of grape varietal.

White Wine Color Palette

Whites will vary in stages from pale yellow-green at its youngest, to a middle aged hipster gold, and finally turning brown if you’ve kept it in the cellar long enough. Acids in wines are used to retard the oxidation process, so your more fruity wines won’t keep as long as those which taste acidic.

Reds will begin as a deep and regal purple turning more and more red as they mature until they too turn to a dark brown.

Red Wine Color Palette

In both cases, once your wine has turned brown, it has passed its prime.

For those of you who may have seen the movie, “Bottle Shock”, the title refers to a condition of a young white turning brown temporarily when wine makers go to great lengths to keep oxygen out of the process.

So there you have it. You've taken your first step on the way to wowing your friends with wine brilliance. Check back with us tomorrow when we discuss the Swirl, which should never be confused with the Bend and Snap, though Elle Woods was certainly guilty of both.