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Wine Tasting - 4th S - Sip


Continuing our series on wine tasting, we’re going to learn about the Fifth S which is “Slurp”.

The first four steps, which were See, Swirl, Smell and Sip, have led to this step where you’ll use both your sense of taste and smell. It’s the step where you might hear your parents in the back of your mind telling you to be more polite. Not to worry – it’s an important step in evaluating a wine and not rude at all.


Retro Nasal Olfaction

We all know that the enjoyment of food and beverages relies on your sense of taste and smell. Did you know that your sense of smell is exercised from two directions? Naturally, you think first of smelling through your nose. However, you can also smell through your retro nasal passage which is at the back of your throat. This is called retro nasal olfaction.

Try this little experiment:

  • First, pinch your nose, take a bite of food and evaluate the flavours.
  • Second, un-pinch your nose and take another bite while breathing normally. Notice how you can better detect the flavours of the food.
  • Lastly, repeat these steps with a fruit beverage.

I’m pretty sure you’re convinced by now how important your sense of smell is to tasting food and beverages.


How to Slurp

When tasting a wine, you want to sip, slurp, savour and spit. We covered sip in our last blog as we’re going to cover the slurping step here and the other two will come later.

Slurping takes sipping to the next level. Please be sure to keep your throat closed for this step. Take a sip and keep the wine in your mouth.  As you inhale through your lips, go ahead and slurp it, letting the wine cover all the areas in your mouth. You’re introducing oxygen to the wine and therefore releasing more aromas and flavours. This method of aerating if the wine sends aromas through the retro nasal passage at the back of your throat, triggering your sense of smell.

Using your sense of taste and smell gives you more information on assessing the wine.


Remember to take notes at each stage of the wine tasting process.


We hope you’re enjoying our new blog series on wine tasting and that the Fifth S has you intrigued to learn more.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels