Before you try tasting wine, you need to make sure you have everything set up properly — this doesn't just include the correct glasses and food, but it also means preparing yourself personally. Remember that the process of tasting wine is a process of becoming more conscious of the entire tasting experience, so preparing yourself and your environment means doing what's necessary to allow you to slow down and pay attention to what you're doing.
Prepare Yourself for Tasting Wine
Well before you get set up for tasting wine, you need to ensure that you'll be able to make the most of it by preparing yourself.
- Try to be well rested
- Avoid doing this when you have a cold or when allergies are acting up
- Be sure to have your glasses or contact lenses
- Don't wear any strong scents (perfume, aftershave)
Prepare the Room for Tasting Wine
Just as the environment is vital to making good wine, your environment is vital for doing a good job at tasting wine. If you don't get the environment set up well enough, you'll have to work that much harder to achieve anything when actually trying to taste the wine.
- Clean up in advance so you can be relaxed when the time for tasting comes
- Clear the tables of clutter that will only distract you
- Turn up the lights — dim light may be romantic, but you need to see what you're drinking
- Remove distracting smells: air fresheners, dogs, cooking food, etc.
Get the Right Equipment for Tasting Wine
You can drink wine out of any glass or even out of the bottle if you wish, but you'll taste the wine best if you have the right equipment in advance.
- Have a cork remover you know how to use well
- Be sure you know what temperature to serve the wines at
- Have the correct glasses for the type of wine you're tasting
- Have a supply of white napkins at hand