The enjoyment of wine is a personal thing. Each time you taste a new wine your awareness of the differences in taste and individual enjoyment will be expanded. To experience this follow these steps:
Hold the glass by the stem and look through the wine to enjoy the true color. The wine should be clear, not cloudy. White wines range in color from almost clear to a golden yellow. Red wines range in color deep red to a light pale red.
With the wine glass filled about 1/2 full swirl the wine around in the glass. This releases the aromas allowing the aroma to rise.
Inhale and identify what you smell. Do you smell fruit or spices? You might find hints of familiar smells including - citrus, chocolate, or flowers. Momentary closing the eyes may help in the identification. You will also want to look at the wine to observe the clarity.
When you taste roll the wine around in your mouth and feel the texture of the wine. Then, take a slight breath of air to stir the aromas. You may notice a tartness (high in acids) or tannic taste (similiar to mild tea). If it burns a little, this is indicitive of a higher alcohol content. As you taste if none of these elements overwhelms you, it is a well-balanced wine.
If you are wine tasting spitting out the wine at this point is recommended. This will provide you with the opportunity to taste several wines in one sitting. If you are just tasting one or two and plan on enjoying a glass of wine go ahead and swallow. Generally wine tasting rooms provide a container for discarding the remainder of wine in your glass or mouth. Remember wine that lingers in your mouth and throat after you have spit is a sign of a good wine.