An experienced host at a wine tasting party will invite their guests to a four-stage process, and provide feedback for discussion at each point. Their goal will be to create a profile of what the group thinks of each product. The topics should include (a) complexity and character (b) whether to age or drink now, and (c) anything they do not like by way of aroma and taste.
Step 1: Hold the glass to the light. Is the liquid clear? Do you find the colour attractive?
Step 2: Lightly agitate the glass to release the natural aroma of the wine. Is it earthy, floral, herbal, or fruity?
Step 3: Take a sip into your mouth. Lightly slosh it around to excite your taste buds. Would you like to drink it? Hold it right there! Should you drink it at all? Probably not in a top-end wine cellar where they may ask you to spit it out, or at the very least pour the rest of the glass away. We think that this defeats the object of buying the bottle. Let us go to the final stage now!
Step 4: Allow the wine to slide gently down your throat. Then answer the ultimate question. Is there a nice finishing after-taste?