Do you ever wonder why sommeliers (and your wine expert friend) swish, slurp, or suck in air while tasting their wine? No, it’s not to call attention to themselves. If you sip wine the way you would any other beverage, it will run across just a portion of your tongue and be down your throat before you get the chance to taste its full range of flavors. Your entire tongue is covered in tastebuds, and you want to saturate your mouth with that delicious wine.

Remember, too, that introducing oxygen to your wine—such as via decanting—helps the aromas and flavors open up and express themselves even more.

Finally, wine has many layers of flavors. In wine speak, these are primary (fruit and floral smells that come from the grape), secondary (derived from the winemaking process, such as oak), and tertiary (developing as the wine ages). Allow your tongue to sit with these for a moment; these nuances take time to be perceived.

Next time you take a sip, slow down to enjoy each mouthful!

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