Wine Tasting Atmosphere

The surrounding atmosphere can affect your wine tasting. If there is a strong scent, for example of perfume or food, it can affect the way you react to an aroma. A noisy or crowded room can also have a negative effect on a wine tasting. Here you are more likely to be distracted from the wine in your glass.

If your wine tasting atmosphere isn’t your cup of tea (or glass of wine), simply try moving to a more neutral environment. The atmosphere may be more favourable on the other side of the room, or a different room altogether. The tasting staff at the wineries during your Niagara Vintage Wine Tour will be able to advise you of the most neutral atmosphere available.

Before You Taste

Smelling the nose of the bottle after you open it is an effective way to detect any chemical imperfections, or if it was improperly bottled – all before it hits your glass. If it is spoiled, it may smell stale or rotten.

If your wine passes the aroma test, pour it into a clean wine glass about ¼ of the way full. Allow it to sit and breathe for a moment before you taste, to ensure it has had ideal exposure to the air. If the wine smells foul, appears brown, musty or murky, or has particles floating around in it, that is a sign that the wine is probably spoiled and should be disposed of immediately.

The Wine Smart Guides at Niagara Vintage Wine Tours are specialists when it comes to proper wine tasting, you can rest assured you are in the best hands. A handy tasting guide is included with all tours and is a great resource and tool that can be used at home.

Tasting Tips

There are three main factors to pay attention to when you taste wine: look, smell and taste.


There are many clues about the wine that are hidden in the appearance. You can gain information about the wine from its:

  • Colour
  • Opacity
  • Depth
  • Clarity
  • Saturation
  • Viscosity

To see the true colour and appearance of the wine, slowly swirl it around in your glass in a counter-clockwise motion and note the difference in colour from the edge of the glass to the middle.


The aroma of the wine will have three different categories of scents, including primary, secondary, and tertiary aromas. The primary aroma will give you information about the kinds of grapes that were used, as well as fruit, herbal, and floral ingredients. The secondary aroma will give you an indication of any yeast definitive aromas, like nut husk, cheese rind, or stale beer. The third and final category will provide an insight for any earthy aromas such as roasted nuts, spices, vanilla, autumn leaves or mushrooms. The tertiary aroma is usually dependant of the aging progress, regardless if it’s in an oak or stainless steel barrel.


To taste the wine, take a small sip and let it linger in your mouth. It’s beneficial to roll it in your mouth so that all your taste buds are exposed to the new taste of the wine. Now, take another sip. This is the tasting sip portion of your tasting tips!

The taste and texture of the wine will provide you with further information on its origins. Riper wines with a higher alcohol content will usually have more texture, as the ethanol causes it to feel rich and thick. If you’re drinking a red wine, your tongue may feel “dry” due to the tannins of the wine. Wine can vary widely in taste. All wines will be a little sour due to the acidity found in grapes. Although it’s very uncommon to taste a salty wine.

After you swallow the wine, the taste may change due to how it is perceived within your retro-nasal cavity. The last part to take note of is the aftertaste of the wine. Each stage of tasting will contribute to your conclusion. Was the wine balanced? Or, was it too acidic, alcoholic, or sweet? These are all factors that will play a part in your overall conclusion. Don’t forget to take notes during the process so you can compare your findings!

Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Tours

Are you thinking of booking a Niagara-on-the-Lake wine tour? Contact Niagara Vintage Wine Tours today to book a tour of Niagara Falls wineries and learn more tasting tips! You can experience award-winning wines from across the beautiful Niagara region. Contact us today, to experience Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries, from the #1 rated Niagara wine tour company, as reviewed by TripAdvisor.