GLASS – To taste a wine properly it should be used a thin, transparent glass cup, standing tall at which to hold, and long body, closer mouth, so that the flavors can be properly appreciated.
TEMPERATURE – The wine should be served at the temperature recommended in the back label of the bottle, or, if that is non-existent, between 16ºC and 18ºC (red wine) and between 9ºC and 12ºC (white wine).
PROOF – The proof is an analysis based on sensorial data so, once the wine is served, all the senses should be cleared so that the test can be as complete as possible.
Visual Phase – In this 1st stage the wine color must be examined, as well as its clarity, brightness and intensity. In the case of sparkling wine it should be noted, also, the size of the bubbles and the persistence of its cord, after the disappearance of the initial foam.
Olfactory phase – it begins when you smell the glass and ends up via retronasal, when the wine is already on the palate. At this stage, there can be detected some wine defects (cork, mold, vinegar, etc.) or it can be discovered its aromatic complexity. The range of flavors is vast and its discovery always depend on the olfactory memory of the person that made the proof.
Gustatory phase – This corresponds to the wine tasting phase in the mouth, from the first impression that the wine causes when it’s drunk (the attack) to the appreciation of the whole of flavors (sour, bitter, salty, sweet), the body, texture and other characteristics of the product.
Final phase – After being swallowed up (or spit) the wine should leave a set of sensations, and its persistence should be enjoyed, such as the flavors, the retro-nasal scent and the finish in the mouth.
In the end of all these four stages, it can be concluded the greater or lesser originality of the wine, its balance, harmony, etc.
Source: Vinhos do Alentejo