Pascal   31451 Rancho Viejo Rd 103 San Juan Capistrano,CA92675   (949) 488-0031
31451 Rancho Viejo Rd 103
San Juan CapistranoCA 92675
 (949) 488-0031

Wine Tasting Guide For Beginners

Wine Tasting Guide For Beginners

If you have never attended a wine tasting before, you are in for a treat. While you won't be able to impersonate a sommelier during your first tasting, you will be able to fit in with the crowd if you follow the tips outlined below. Use this cheat sheet for your initial wine tasting experience(s) and you won't reveal yourself as a green newbie who is ignorant about the world of wine. While you don't have to pose as a wine aficionado, arriving to the wine tasting armed with this preliminary knowledge will help you assimilate to the crowd and the atmosphere of the event.

Give It a Good Look

While everyone is capable of lifting a glass of wine to their lips, few have developed a highly refined palate and the ability to recall specific wines. The manner in which you taste wine really does matter. Don't merely grab for a glass and lift it to your lips without pause. Take a moment to look at the wine's hue, viscosity, and opacity. This should take only a few seconds but every glass of wine is worth inspecting.

Raise the Glass to Your Nose

Take the time to smell each glass of wine before sipping. Try to identify at least two distinct flavors. Don't rush through this process. Consider all of the scents that your nose picks up on and make an effort to distinguish them from one another. Three different types of wine aromas exist. Primary aroma notes like fruits, flowers, and herbs are derived from the grapes. Secondary aromas are created from yeast and fermentation. Tertiary bouquets like nutty aromas and baking spices are generated through the aging and oxidation processes.

Wine Aromas


After you've inspected and smelled the wine, it is time to taste it. The taste of wine is primarily made up of its flavor and structure. While everyone understands what flavor means, the structural component of wine is not as clear. Structure refers to the amount of sweetness, tannin, acidity, and alcohol in the wine. Also, consider the wine's profile throughout the tasting process. The profile refers to the beginning, middle, and finish. Each wine has a unique impact on your taste buds and nose when it first touches your tongue. The taste then progresses to a climax and an aftertaste once swallowed.

The Verdict

Once you have looked, smelled, and tasted, you have enough evidence to form a solid opinion of each wine that you sample. Determine if the wine is well balanced or heavily skewed toward a certain flavor or structural component. Perhaps there is a specific characteristic of the wine that really made an impact on you. Take a moment to reflect on each wine before verbalizing an opinion in front of your fellow wine tasters.

Enjoy Your Favorite Wines at Pascal

Pascal is proud to serve a new casual dining wine and cheese menu. Drop on by after you have experienced your first wine tasting and enjoy our bistro style entrées with a glass of wine. If you are concerned about wine pairing, do not fret. Our chefs have prepared a list of recommended wine pairings in case you are not sure which is the perfect match for the small plate or entrée that you have in mind. No reservations are necessary. Just drop on in after 5 PM, Monday through Saturday.

Great food deserves great wine. Reserve a table