“When I’m tasting wine, I remember the five S’s,” says Eric Pool, owner of Berryville Vineyards in Claremont, Ill.
- See the wine. It should be clear, and if it’s red, have a very deep color. The darker the better, Pool says.
- Swirl the wine. Swirling releases the bouquet.
- Smell the wine. Smelling allows you to capture the flavor with your nose as well as your tongue.
- Sip the wine. Let it sit on the top of your tongue to suck the air through it. It helps the wine to get more air through it.
- Swallow. Tilt your head back and let it run down your throat.
The temperature of a wine should be close to that of the underground temperature, Pool adds.
“I have a geothermal temp in my winery,” he says. “Ideally, you want low 60s. All chemical reactions occur slower at a cooler temperature. The idea is to keep the cork wet, so I keep the wine stored upside down in transport, then I sit it on its side to store it. Wine likes a constant temperature.”
That constant temperature is more important than the actual serving temperature, Pool says.