Want to taste like a wine pro? Here are the five questions you should ask yourself while you sniff and sip, plus three wines that will give you a mini lesson in acid, tannin and aroma.
Acidity: Does the wine make you pucker? If yes, it's high in acid.
Alcohol: Does the wine warm up your mouth? It may be high in alcohol.
Body: Does the wine linger on your tongue? If so, it's full-bodied.
Tannins: Does the wine dry out your mouth? It's probably high in tannins.
Aromas & Flavor: Does the wine's smell or taste remind you of a food, a flower or anything else? Free-associate.
Three wines that will give you an extreme sensory experience:
For the Acid Hound: 2012 Michel Delhommeau Harmonie Muscadet ($14)
A brisk white from the Loire Valley, where the cooling effects of the Atlantic ramp up acidity that you'll feel on the sides of your tongue.
For the Tannin-Shy: 2012 Powers Merlot ($15)
Time spent in oak—11 months for this Washington state Merlot—rounds out tannins to create a lush wine that will feel smooth, and not bitter, in your mouth.
For the Scent-Sensitive: 2012 Navarro Estate Bottled Dry Gewürztraminer ($20)
Famously floral and spicy, this Gewürz is so aromatically intriguing that you almost don't even have to drink it to be happy.