Tasting Wine: the Palate

February 15, 2017

3 minutes read


It’s said that tasting wine is a complete subjective matter & differs from person to person. It’s true that everybody has his or her own unique palate, but you can tell if a wine is sweet, high in acidity or low in tannins. It takes many tasting experiences to get your ‘’tongue’’ really well developed. In general, you can taste sugar on the tip of your tongue, sour & salt on both sides with bitter in the back. Umami, the savoury flavour can be felt on the middle palate.

With tasting wine, take a small sip & gently suck in ear through your mouth. In this way, the wine will coat your whole inner mouth as well as realises aromas that flow into the back of your nose to detect the flavours. Let’s systematically approach of tasting the wine.


The sweetness gives away the level of sugar in a wine. Although most of the time added sugars, it can also occur from very ripe or dried grapes. Most red & white wines are dry, that is that they don’t contain sugar.



Acidity makes citrus fruits taste sour. Acidity is one of the most important components in wine, as it makes it refreshing & vibrant. Feel the twinkles on both sides of your tongue? In general white wines have higher acidity than red wines. It’s also an important component for sweet wines, as it balance out the sweetness in it, or else the wine taste so dull. Not sure about the level of acidity in your wine? Bend your head and look to the floor. If saliva is dripping out, it means high in acidity! Acidity makes your mouth water, as it needs to have saliva to function.


The tannins makes your black tea taste bitter. Tannins are located in the skin of the grape, whereby the time it had contact with the juice during production makes out the level of tannins in the wine. White & Roses have none to very little tannins, red wines more or high tannins. The bitter tannins can be felt on the back of your tongue and on your gums. It gives it this leathery feeling.



The body of the wine is the mouthfeel you have when you drink it. It’s the combination of the alcohol, tannins, sugar & flavour characteristics extracted from the skins.


Take another sip. Then try to look for any flavour characteristics in the wine. The flavours can be ‘’tasted’’ in the back of your nose. That’s why it’s important to slurp the wine in & detect flavours which you haven’t smelled with the ‘’Nose’’ step yet. Again, break it down in: fruit, floral, spices, vegetables, oak or other aromas.



The finish gives away how long you still taste the wine after you swallowed or spat out the wine. Good quality wine let you enjoy a long & complex lingering finish!

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Wine Rebel
Hugo de Grootstraat 115, Delft, The Netherlands

KVK-nummer: 70927340
BTW nummer: NL069862540B01

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