- Posted by Danielle Gillespie
There are plenty of articles out there about how to “taste wine like a pro” …or sommelier …or expert. But nobody goes from 0 to 100 by watching one YouTube video. And, the vast majority of us will never be pros, so why would we want to pretend to be one? Those guys have a lot of years under their belts and have earned their hard-won titles! But you know what? Even the pros started as mere amateurs so why not embrace your amateur status and, instead, taste wine like a boss.
How to taste wine like a boss:
- Open wine
- Pour wine
- Chug wine
- Answer one question, do I like this?
It’s seriously just that easy! And, ultimately, drinking wine is really about what you like and what you don’t like.
Full disclosure: it will take some time for you to decide what you like and don’t like. In fact, during my early days of wine discovery my personal rating scale was based on degrees of yummy (yummy, yummy/get again, delicious and gross). But trying tons of new wines is ultimately what helped me evolve and today, after many wine drinking reps, I have a better understanding of what I like …and sometimes I even use terms that are more elaborate than those found on the yummy scale.
Just Do It!
So your assignment, should you choose to accept, is to repeat, repeat, repeat.
But, what if you want to jump start your amateur status and advance to boss? I would highly recommend a trip to a wine region such as Napa, Sonoma, Willamette, Columbia Valley, Santa Barbara, Virginia or the Finger Lakes. In places like these, you can hit a lot of wineries and try a ton of different wines in a short amount of time. It’s great because, well, it’s just damn fun. But also, you don’t have to make a commitment to a full bottle of wine. You are able to try lots of little glasses of different wines, ultimately expanding your palate.
Venturing into your first winery may seem a little intimidating but it really isn’t. Most winery staff love to talk shop, want to help you learn and will be thrilled to talk about their wines. But if you just don’t know where to start, I would recommend checking out something like the Priority Wine Pass; outfits like these offer custom tasting trips that prove wine tasting doesn’t have to be stuffy. And on top of that, you get insider deals at their favorite places. I’ve checked out most of the Priority Wine Pass partners and, trust me, they are fun, welcoming and certifiably un-stuffy. I’m sure that there are many more of these passes and experiences available in wine regions around the country but I happen to really like this group. AND, as a special offer to readers of this blog post, you can receive a discount on the Priority Wine Pass by clicking the link (HINT HINT HINT: the holiday season is here).
So get out there, taste wine like a BOSS and always remember: wine drinking is a journey, not a destination.