Savor:  How long does the taste and feel of a wine stick around in your mouth

  • Length – take a sip, swish it around, hold it for a few seconds, then swallow.  How long the flavors, feel and impact of the wine linger can be the cliff notes to the wine’s flavor and aroma story.  Light, low alcohol wines may disappear quickly, but paired with high acidity, may trigger a mouthwatering experience which keeps you smiling even longer.  Higher alcohol content can bring warm sensations that last for minutes and bring color to your cheeks.
  • Complexity – sip once, sip twice, sip three times.  Complex wines will open-up and expose primary, secondary and tertiary flavors with each sip like peeling back the layers of an onion.  Simple wines will maintain consistency sip after sip.  Add food to the mix and a whole new chapter may appear!

There you have it, the complete DOMSOM 6s process for tasting white wine.  We fully expect you to follow it each and every time you open a bottle!  Not really, but we can confirm the more you at least think through the steps, the more you will appreciate the experience of wine.  As you build on these skills, we are confident you will be able to choose or recommend wine more easily by using the descriptions of aromas and flavors and understand why two wines from the same varietal can taste quite different. 

Now that you know how to leverage the DOMSOM 6 Ss of wine tasting for white wine, it is time to use your knowledge to follow the same steps for tasting red wine.

Principles of Wine Tasting:  White Wine

Sight: Describing the Appearance of a Wine
ClarityClear Hazy Cloudy
IntensityPale Medium Deep
ColorLemon Gold Amber
Swirl: Describing the Impact of Wine on the Glass
Aroma OpeningLittle Moderate Significant
TearingLight Medium Heavy
StainingNone Light Medium Heavy
Smell: Describing the Smell of a Wine
IntensityLight Medium Intense
Aroma CharacteristicPrimary Secondary Tertiary
Sip: Describing the Flavor of a Wine
FloralRose Blossom
Green FruitApple (Green, Red, Yellow) Pear
Citrus FruitLemon Lime Grapefruit Orange
Stone FruitPeach Nectarine Apricot
Tropical FruitBanana Lychee Mango Melon Passion Fruit Pineapple
Fruit CharacterJust Ripe Ripe Overripe Baked Dried
OtherWet Stones Bell Pepper
Swish: Describing the Mouthfeel of a Wine
AcidityLow Medium High
AlcoholLow Medium High
BodyLight Medium Full
SweetnessDry Off-Dry Semi-Sweet Sweet
Savor: Describing the Finish of a Wine
LengthShort Medium Long
ComplexitySimple Medium Complex
Secondary (Smell / Sip)
YeastBiscuit Pastry Bread Toast Bread Dough Cheese Yoghurt
Malolactic FermentationButter Cream Cheese
OakVanilla Cloves Coconut
Tertiary (Smell / Sip)
Bottle AgeDried Fruits Earth / Mushroom Petrol (Riesling) Honey
Oak AgeVanilla Baking Spice Toasted Nuts