Published On: Sun, May 24th, 2020

What Are the Four S’s of Wine Tasting? | How to Drink Wine Properly

The best way to learn about wine is to learn the four S’s in wine tasting. Once you know it, you can properly recognize the different elements of wine. 

The four S’s are your way to remember the things that you should do when you are handed a glass of wine. So, what are the four S’s? These are “see,” “swirl,” “sniff,” and “sip.”

Image/Paolo Neo

Why Are the Four S’s in Wine Tasting Necessary?


When you hold a glass of wine, you start examining the color. For instance, if the red wine looks lighter, it means it was aged for a longer time. For white wine, it will look darker with age. The wine’s color can also help you determine its aging process. 

For instance, Chardonnay looks golden due to its aging process in oak barrels. Pinot Grigio looks thin and rusty, while NZ Sauv Blanc looks greenish. These basic visual cues can help you determine the grape variety used before tasting it. 


Sloshing the wine gently around the glass can release the aroma of the wine by coating the sides of your glass. The point of swirling is to expose the wine’s aroma to oxygen. This is why most people decant their red wines for an hour before drinking. 

In order to avoid spilling your wine, gently swirl the glass while you keep its base on the table. Also, take note of how the wine slides down your glass. It indicates the viscosity of the drink. The slower the roll, the more alcohol it contains.


After swirling your wine, its aroma will be exposed. Then you can quickly tell that it’s a red wine or white wine. If it is white, you can smell the citrus notes such as lime, lemon, and grapefruit. Some white wines also have vanilla or oak scents.

If it is red wine, you will likely smell a riper scent, such as plum, blackberry, cherry, and strawberry. However, red wines can also smell earthy, like chocolate, coffee, and smoke.

If you want to smell a more potent aroma, you can try putting your palm on top of the glass, then swirl it again. Bring the glass near your nose and lift your hand. The concentrated aroma that is trapped by your palm is sure to give your nostrils a surprise.


Once you take your first sip, make sure to let it coat your mouth. Did the aroma match the flavor? What’s the texture? Did it make your mouth water?

So, now that you understand four S’s, you can enjoy drinking wines even more.

Author: Digital Solutions

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