Wine tasting 1 of 3

Enjoy the 27th Annual San Angelo Wine & Food Festival on Thursday, April 28 at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, and on Friday, April 29 at Fort Concho.

Texas’s oldest such wine adventures, many know this is a rollicking good time, a celebration of San Angelo’s sophistication and sipping savvy.

This column, however, serves wine neophytes and newbies. So, a review on how to enjoy wine whether you are in the museum’s rarefied halls or the dusty milieu of fort horse stables.

Remembered the five S’s of tasting: See, Swirl, Smell, Sip, Savor. Today, the first S—see.

Pour wine into a clear glass to explore color and clarity. Tilt glass away from you, view against a white background when you can. Red wine: maroon, purple, ruby, garnet, red, brick or even brown. White wine: clear, pale yellow, straw, light green, golden, amber or brown.

Move on to opacity. Wine can be watery or dark, translucent or opaque, dull or brilliant, cloudy or clear. Older reds may have orange tinges on the edges, young reds will not. Older whites are darker than younger whites.

Seeing does not include judgments based on “legs” or “tears”—streaks of wine down the glass. They may be visually interesting, but reveal nothing about quality.

Subtle—and not so subtle—color differences are first clues about the wine. As you gain experience, you will appreciate them more. At a boisterous tasting, simply swirling your glass and commenting about what you see will convince others you know from wine.


• Gauchezco Malbec. Ripe fruit, soft tannins, black cherry, dark chocolate. Argentina. $14

• Andretti Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh-cut grass, vibrant acidity, tangy summer sipper. California. $21

• Selby Merlot. Dark cherries, opulent and elegant. Sonoma. $23

• Enkido Rosso Fazekas Vineyard Sangiovese. Dried cherries, vanilla, medium body. Napa. $24

• Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Juicy, dark fruits, let it breathe at least an hour. Oregon. $27

• Cenay Bluetooth Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Blue fruits galore. Cab-Merlot fruit bomb. California. $34