To be able to raise a glass of wine to your nose and tell the wine’s story, might not seem like a big deal. However, there are classes and courses, attracting thousands of people, interested in becoming master sniffers for a reason. It is not as easy as it might seem. It is also not something that you can simply pick up by yourself without some guidance on how to do it.
Holding the Wine-Glass the Right Way
It is important how you hold the glass when you are trying to taste wines. Experts say that the right way to hold a wine glass before you plunge your nose in, is to hold it by the stem. Wine glasses are meant to be held by the stem, unlike a glass of beer which you hold by the bowl. The idea of stemless wine glasses is a joke in wine-sniffer circles too.
The next part of handling the glass is how and where you position it at your nose. As a regular wine-consumer, you probably put your nose into the glass and take a nice healthy sniff. That is the worst way you can smell the wine. In fact, the technique you are already used to, probably overwhelms your senses, and you are not enjoying wine the right way. The right way is to place the rim of the wine class right on your upper-lip.
Now, that the wine glass is below your nose, you must hold it at the right angle to take a healthy sniff. You must be able to determine the right spot in the glass, where you can get every single smell. Every wine glass looks and feels different. The wines also flow differently. Therefore, slightly tilt the glass upwards till you can get the aroma in the wine and memorise it, for as long as you are using the same glass.
The Actual Act of Sniffing
If you go to a wine sniffing school or take up a course, they will all tell you the same thing – short, quick sniffs. While this is a great way and the best to follow, you can sniff the wine after you have tasted it. Some experts suggest that taking a small sip, swirling it around your mouth, while you hold your breath. Let your breath out only after you have spat the wine out. This ensures that the taste does the smelling for you.
Many people who struggle with sniff tests, can try to hold the glass at three different distances, to find the aromas. Also, breathing in the wine through your nose as well as your mouth at the same time, is the best and most efficient way. You don’t have to open your mouth all the way to get the smell, you just need to open by a quarter inch and take a healthy breath. You can try all the different ways to sniff to see which one works for you. Everyone is different when it comes to their perception of wines. With the right practice, you will soon become a master-sniffer.