Morning Mix


Wine Down Wednesday: Impress your guests with The 5 S’s of Wine Tasting

Posted at 11:19 AM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 11:19:34-05

There's so much more than a pretty label behind a good wine, so why not impress friends and family this holiday season by teaching them the "5 S's of Wine Tasting?"

Vice President and head winemaker from St. Julian Winery, Nancie Oxley, walks Todd and Leigh Ann through the steps of wine tasting.

5 S's of Wine Tasting

  • See - Hold the glass up in front of your eyes, and tilt it slightly.  The color of the wine can tell you something about its age, where it comes from, and its concentration.  Wines from northern, cooler climates tend to be lighter in color (color not as intense) as wines from hotter, southern climates.
  • Swirl - Swirling the wine in your glass aerates it, bringing oxygen into the wine and allowing it to release its aroma.  Reminder: It's best not to completely fill the glass, so you'll have room to swirl the wine around.
  • Smell - Smell is the most important component of wine tasting.  It is a combination of the aroma and bouquet of the wine, often called the “nose” of the wine.    For every wine, the aroma and the bouquet should be balanced, not either being neutral or overpowering.  You can smell 2000 aromas, and wine has over 200 of its own!
  • Sip - Sip in order to bring the full flavor of the wine to the palate.  Be sure to move the wine around in your mouth to cover all of your taste buds.  You'll be able to taste the fruit and varietal characteristics, the acidity, the tannins, and the aftertaste.   A long, pleasing aftertaste, or finish, is a sign of a quality wine.
  • Savor - The flavor of wine is associated with the combination of experiences from the senses of sight, smell, and taste.  Taste is the way in which the flavor is experienced in the mouth.  This may match or differ from the aroma experienced in the nose.  The human tongue can detect variances in acidity, bitterness, and sweetness levels in wines.  Sit back for a few minutes and savor the taste.

Oxley says that wine should first and foremost be a pleasure; wine tasting should be fun and add to the enjoyment of drinking wine.  Using the sense of vision, smell and taste together can make an individual’s wine tasting experience more enjoyable.

So sit back, relax and have a glass of wine while trying out the 5 S’s of wine tasting, cheers!

St. Julian is located at 716 South Kalamazoo Street in Paw Paw, and have tasting rooms in Frankenmuth, Union Pier and Dundee.

For a complete list of wines available at St. Julian Winery, visit