In CGT Blog

Tasting wine critically, like a sommelier does, can seem overwhelming if you’ve never tried it before. Our team at Chateau Grand Traverse is ready to share how to properly taste wine, critique it and describe its flavors through some commonly used adjectives.

Wine tasting should be exploratory and fun, which is why we want to walk you through the proper way to taste wine, with tips from CGT winemaker, Bernd Croissant!

How to Properly Taste Wine

  • Look – Take a moment to look at your wine’s color and clarity. From the color and clarity you can tell the richness of the wine. The darker and opaquer the wine, the richer it will be.
  • Swirl – When swirling, take a look at your wine’s consistency or viscosity. Through this you can get some clues as to the body of your wine. If it has legs when you swirl your wine glass, it’s higher in alcohol or sugar content. Let our team show you how to swirl wine like a pro. Swirling also releases the bouquet and aroma.
  • Smell – By smelling the wine you can find its primary aromas (from the variety of grape), secondary and tertiary aromas (derived from fermentation and aging) that make up the wine’s bouquet. Learn more about wine aroma vs. bouquet to find some of the tastes and smells you may find in your wine.
  • Taste – Last but not least, it’s time to taste your wine! Here’s how: roll the wine around your mouth to make sure each and every taste bud has a chance to encounter the wine. Note all of the flavors and textures.

How Winemaker Bernd Teaches Wine Tasting

Chateau Grand Traverse winemaker Bernd Croissant believes wine tasting should not be intimidating. He has his own way of teaching wine lovers how to appreciate the wine they drink on a deeper level. Remember to start simple and think about the most obvious observations first before delving deeper. This way you are taking the time to find out what you are smelling or tasting. This makes it much easier than trying to pinpoint something specific right off the bat.

Use this list of questions as your guide:

  • What is the initial aroma? Is it floral, earthy, or does it smell of spices?
  • What is the initial flavor? Is it fruity, spicy, woody?
  • Get specific – If the initial aroma (or flavor) is fruity, is it berry? Dried fruit? Tropical fruit? Citrus?
  • If it tastes or smells of citrus, is it lemon? Grapefruit? Tangerine?
  • Repeat these questions, until you can narrow each powerful first impression down to something specific.

Remember, it’s fun to taste with friends. There’s no right answer and everyone’s palate is different. Compare your notes with your wine loving companions – they might inspire you to taste something new!

Start Your Wine Tasting Today With Chateau Grand Traverse

If you’re ready to look, swirl, smell and taste in person, visit us at Chateau Grand Traverse, or order a bottle (or a case)from the CGT online shop. There’s nothing better than trying a new vintage or sampling an old favorite through a new lens!