Pour yourself a glass of wine (about one-third full) and learn the proper way to taste it from wine enthusiast Paul Mims ’71, M ’73*:
Gently swirl the wine to “open it up,” which increases the evaporation rate of its aroma compounds and creates its bouquet.
Dip your nose into the glass and sniff as if you were smelling a flower. Whatever smells you detect, interpret them in words common to you and your experience.
Take a slightly larger sip of the wine than normal but don’t swallow. Does the wine taste like it smelled?
Swish — sort of like mouthwash. Swishing increases the contact area of the wine and warms it up a bit, amplifying its taste. Does the wine feel light and airy or full and rich? This is called the “body” of the wine.
The part you’ve been waiting for! Notice how long the wine’s aftertaste lingers; this is called the “finish” of the wine. Did you enjoy this wine or not? Either way, make a note — life is too short to drink bad wine!