Things to know about wine tasting in Kelowna and the Okanagan


Tasting Wine in Kelowna and the Okanagan is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine. While the practice of wine tasting is as ancient as its production, a more formalized methodology has slowly become established. Modern, professional wine tasters use a constantly evolving formal terminology which is used to describe the range of perceived flavors, aromas and general characteristics of a wine. At Let's Go Transportation Wine Tours, we use an informal, recreational tasting which involves a much less analytical process for a more general, personal appreciation. In other words, we just love tasting and learning about wines in Kelowna and the Okanagan!

Here are a few tips and things to know if you want to be an educated wine taster on your guided wine tour!

Kelowna wine tasting Stages
1. appearance
2. "in glass" the aroma of the wine
3. "in mouth" sensations
4. "finish" (aftertaste)

These stages are combined in order to establish the following properties of a wine:
- complexity and character
- potential (suitability for aging or drinking)
- possible faults

The shape of a wineglass can have a subtle impact on the perception of wine, especially its bouquet. Typically, the ideal shape is considered to be wider toward the bottom, with a narrower aperture at the top. Glasses which are widest at the top are considered the least ideal. Interestingly, the effect of glass shape does not appear to be related to whether the glass is pleasing to look at.

Without having tasted a wine, one does not know if, for example, a white is heavy or light. Before taking a sip, the taster tries to determine the order in which the wines should be assessed by appearance and nose alone. Heavy wines will be deeper in color and generally more intense on the nose. Sweeter wines, being denser, will leave thick, viscous streaks (called legs or tears) down the inside of the glass when swirled.

A wine's colour is better judged by putting it against a white background. The wine glass is put at an angle in order to see the colors. Colors can give the taster clues to the grape variety, and whether the wine was aged in wood.

Judging colour is the first step in tasting wine. There are five basic steps in tasting wine: color, swirl, smell, taste, and savor. These are also known as the "five S" steps: see, swirl, sniff, sip, savor. During this process, a taster must look for clarity, variety character, integration, expressiveness, complexity, and connectedness.