Wine Tasting with Eliza

17 June 2021

For this guide, we’re starting with the basics: sight, aroma and taste. Always be sure you take a full sip – and, most importantly, ensure that you enjoy it!

Before tasting your wine, it can help to understand the typical characteristics of a variety. For example, Pinot Noir tends to be fruit-forward and a little spicy or herbal/earthy. Bigger reds likeShiraztend to taste more of black fruit and pepper. This knowledge comes with experience and should be good motivation for new trying new varieties and styles.


Take time to investigate the glass before sipping. To best see the colour in the glass, hold your glass up to the light. Look at the colour and the clarity of the wine. If you’re drinking aged wines, you may notice that white wine will gain colour with age, while red wine will lose its colour.

What is the viscosity of the wine? Keep the base of the glass on the table and then swirl the wine. You will notice that sweeter wines such as our St Leonards Hip Sip will have what we call ‘legs’ (which are the streaks) down the side of the glass.


The aroma of the wine is a huge part of the tasting experience because smell and taste are intertwined. Wine aroma is where some of the wine language can become quite intimidating. My personal favourite is the overused term of ‘kerosene’ to describe Riesling. Nothing you smell will be wrong, and everyone’s nose is different. To get the best aromas from the wine, it pays to swirl the wine gently in the glass (and avoid splashing if you can).


Relax and let it be fun! You do not need to make all the awkward and uncomfortable sounds that a professional would. No need to gulp, suck in air and make a large scene.

Take a generous mouthful and concentrate on the flavours. Think about where this wine sits on the spectrum. Is it an acidic wine or it a sweet wine – or is it perhaps somewhere in the middle? Can you taste oak or tannins in the wine? Tannins provide structure to the wine, but too much can be astringent.

When swallowing the wine, take note of the length of time it takes for the flavours to disappear. Are the fruit or earthy flavours lingering? I love wines with a long finish.

And finally, the most important criterion – do you want more? That is the ultimate measure of a good wine!


Eliza Brown