You can have a full tasting experience without drinking. Here’s how.

Wine Tasting at Simon Wine Emporium (Provided)

  • It is possible to get the most out of wine tasting without consuming a drop of alcohol.
  • The three main stages of wine tasting are observing the appearance of wine, sniffing it, and putting it in your mouth. determine taste by tongue and palate.
  • Non-drinkers have the option of spitting and rinsing their mouths with water, in order to taste without alcohol.
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Non-drinkers can enjoy wine just as much as those who like it boozy, thanks to the many elements involved in tasting wine – without having to drink or swallow.

According to Jeannique Swiegers of Simon Wine Emporium, wine tasting includes different stages starting from the appearance of the wine, its smell and finally what it does in the mouth for those who want to put it in the mouth and spit it out later. .

“With wine tasting, what you’re looking for is determining what wine you’re looking at and also evaluating the wine.

“You can have a full sensory experience with wine tasting without having to drink the wine,” Swiegers said.


According to Swiegers, one of the first steps is to determine the wine’s clarity (clear or hazy), color intensity (pale, medium, deep), and color undertones (purple, ruby, garish, tawny).

“With white wines, you can easily determine the age of the wines. When it has a more translucent green tint, you can probably tell that you are dealing with a young wine that has no wood.

“When it’s a more aged wine and has wood in it, it takes on a more golden yellow color, and that can give an indication of what cultivar you’re dealing with,” Swiegers told Business Insider South Africa.

Wine color chart (provided)

Wine color chart (provided)

When it comes to red wines, a more ruby ​​or almost purple color means you’re dealing with a younger wine, while an orange hue means it’s an older wine.

According to Swiegers, to better observe the appearance of wine, you can hold your glass against white paper or a white wall. Tilt the glass to the side for a better view.

The wine aroma wheel (provided)

The wine aroma wheel (provided)


What follows after the appearance is the smell or aromas you get from the wine. Swirling the glass helps release the different flavors of wine – and there are over 10,000 flavors you can get from different wines.

“First, I’ll notice if it’s a shy nose, hiding its characters and how long I need to sniff it for it to introduce itself to me.

“To be able to compare a shy nose and a nose that punches you in the face is quite remarkable. For example, a Chardonnay that is oaky and fairly aged would bring in pungent buttery aromas, perhaps some citrus elements, often a sweet honey finish. You almost get that whiff of fragrance.

Simon Wine Emporium in Stellenbosch (Supplied)

Simon Wine Emporium in Stellenbosch (Supplied)

A younger Shannon wine, on the other hand, that hasn’t been oaked would be a little shy. Other things you get from sniffing wine also include the alcohol level and its volume percentage. The higher the alcohol content, the greater the chance of getting more sugar.

Swiegers also said stale wines also smell chemically and can be clogged or oxidized. They should not be eaten.

Wine Tasting at Simon Wine Emporium (Provided)

Wine Tasting at Simon Wine Emporium (Provided)

Spit or swallow?

Some non-drinkers may want to take things to the next level by including their palate in the wine tasting experience. They have the option of spitting it out and rinsing their mouth with water right after.

“You can do a full wine tasting without a drop of alcohol going down your throat, just by letting the wine rest on your tongue and spitting it out.

“There are very elegant ways to do it. We have little spittoons where you put it over your mouth and let it drip out of your mouth,” Swiegers said.

One of the first things to check is whether what you have on your nose matches exactly what you are getting on the tablet. You should also watch out for bad tastes that you may have missed while sniffing.

Letting the wine linger all over your tongue also helps you get different tastes present in the wine.

“Another amazing thing is that you also get a lot of cues when the wine comes out, which is when you spit.

“Sometimes when people put wine in their mouths, they breathe in air, let it sit for a bit and then spit it out. That determines what you get in and what you get out,” said Sweigers.

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