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Banfi for a better wine world
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2022 4 Agosto


It is important to know that there is no need to be a professional sommelier to know how to taste wine: just follow some of our tasting advice.

Useful tips on wine tasting

The first piece of advice when tasting wine is not to spoil your senses before starting. What this means is that you should avoid strong foods, chewing gum or smoking, but you should also avoid using perfumes or creams with strong scents, because these will alter your olfactory perception.

The second tip is: always start with lighter wines and gradually proceed to the more structured, full-bodied ones.

Our third tip is never touch your goblet with your hands: always hold your glass by the stem to prevent the warmth from your hand from affecting the temperature of the wine.

Wine tasting: a multi-sensory experience

Wine tasting is a full experience from a multi-sensory viewpoint because, as we have seen, it involves the majority of our senses: sight, smell, and taste.


The first sense involved in wine tasting is sight: the appearance of wine tells us a great deal about its organoleptic qualities, which may or may not be confirmed during the following stages of the tasting. The characteristics to bear in mind are:

  • colour
  • clarity
  • consistency
  • effervescence

Colour: white, red or rosé? And what about intensity and tone? The vine varieties, vinification process, age of the wine, and the production area are just some of the factors that affect this aspect.

The second stage is an evaluation of clarity and transparency, which means the ability to allow light to pass through and the presence of impurities and residues. To assess this, the glass needs to be angled to 45°, against a white background and in good light.

Since the consistency of wine is linked to the content of substances other than water and responsible for its organoleptic profile. To examine this, it is necessary to rotate the wine in the glass to look at its fluidity, the first reason for the well-known gesture, which is now one of the very symbols of wine.

This way we can look at the droplets of wine as they flow down the sides of the glass (in Italian, these are known as “bows”, while in French they are called “tears”). Fuller-bodied wines, which are heavier and well structured will glide down the glass more slowly, while lighter wines - especially whites - will move more quickly.

Effervescence is probably the first thing we notice in sparkling wines. This is the development of bubbles, perlage, that forms after a bottle is opened, due to the release of carbon dioxide. As it dissolves, this releases gas bubbles that create the typical foam on these types of wine.


Once the wine has been examined visually, it is time to pass onto its smell or nose, which is perhaps the most important but also most difficult part of tasting. Lots of practice is required to capture the olfactory notes of a wine. All wines have scents that can be traced back to over 200 different types of substance, which can be found in wine - even in minimum amounts. The combination of these substances creates a bouquet of aromas that differ from wine to wine, but also from bottle to bottle, according to the way in which the wine is stored.

The smell of cork is perhaps recognisable to even the less expert taster, while it can take a few attempts to identify the countless scents that make up a wine’s bouquet.

Our practical tasting tip for using the nose is to proceed in three steps:

  • To start with, bring the edge of your glass up to your nose, breathe in deeply, and then move the glass away, trying to identify the most characteristic aromas;
  • then rotate the glass;
  • at this point, bring the glass back up to your nose and sniff again to capture the different notes.


Tasting the wine is the last stage in this process and mainly consists of evaluating the taste sensations while the wine is in the mouth. The different substances in the wine interact with the taste buds on the tongue, producing stimuli that are transmitted to the brain in the form of neural impulses. What is more, the gums and oral cavity are subject to “tactile” stimuli that also produce sensations which are then transmitted to the brain in the form of impulses.

How to proceed

With a small sip in such a way as to swallow as little air as possible. Taste the wine with your whole palate, not just your tongue, so that as well as the flavour, of course, you can appreciate the consistency and viscosity, and keep the wine in your mouth for as long as you need. Wait a few seconds to appreciate the after-taste.

If you want to try out our wine tasting tips, our winery is happy to welcome you on a tasting tour, accompanied by professional sommeliers.



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