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First and foremost, the proper way to taste wine is to enjoy it! If you’re not enjoying it, you might be doing it wrong…

One of many reasons to enjoy wine is its unique complexity. It allows its drinker to reflectively consume, as opposed to consuming just for the sake of. Wine pulls you in. It surprises you. Sometimes it disappoints. That is all part of the experience. 

It entertains you with smell, taste, texture, and essence of place. While the first three might be obvious, the essence of place is often forgotten. It is a reference to where the wine was grown and the environment it lived in. 

To get to know a glass of wine, you must consider its sense of place. It would be impolite not to. The artistic style a winemaker applied in order to create the flavor you are enjoying largely depends on the place the grapes were grown and where the wine was made. Such a diversity of hands shaped the wine you are drinking.

For Paloma, it is the mountainside vineyard that slopes for 250 ft and wraps south to north creating microclimates that allow growth and ripening at different rates, creating more complexity in the glass. And the extra rainfall that falls on Spring Mountain allows for certain grape varietals to flourish. It really comes down to listening to the subtleties in the glass and learning to appreciate what shaped them. 

The proper way to taste wine involves considering it. Consider whether you like it or not. Consider whether it was well made or not. Consider who made it. How did they put their mark on it? What is unique about it?

A helpful tool when considering these questions is the 5 S’s of tasting. 

  1. See
  2. Smell
  3. Sip
  4. Swirl
  5. Savor

Each of these have a purpose, and we will write more on them in the future, but for now just remember to slow down and think about the 5 S’s with each glass. You’ll be surprised at what you pick up simply by slowing down. 

There are many “rules” to wine drinking, but so many of them are pretentious ideals from the past that don’t apply today. However, the etiquette of holding your wine glass by the stem is an important one. This serves two purposes: you don’t warm up the wine with your hand and you don’t dirty the glass with greasy fingers.…

Otherwise, wine is just meant to be enjoyed. It is an experience. That is why people come to taste it. How you choose to experience it is up to you. It is so much more than a simple beverage; it is an art form that has been evolving for over 7000 years.