How to taste wine like an expert

Notice the look and taste

Wine tasting in St. Helena, CAIf you’re a member of a Napa Valley wine club, you may get an invitation to a wine tasting. Dress well but comfortably. When handling the glass of wine, don’t hold it by the bowl or your hand will warm it. Look at the wine against a white background to judge its clarity and color. White wines darken with age, and red wines get browner. Swirl it gently to reveal the wine’s body and bring out the aroma. Think of what the smell reminds you of — there are a number of aroma wheels that categorize the aromas by type and origin. Then taste it, looking for the sweetness of fruit and the bitterness of tannins.

Wine tasting at a vineyard near St. Helena

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a 10-minute drive from downtown St. Helena, holds tastings in its barrel caves, where visitors can sample current releases and library wines and learn about the process of making and storing the wine. Cave tastings are $65, but one tasting fee can be waived by joining their wine club or making a $100 purchase. Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards produces world-class wines at affordable prices. The vineyard is a 40-acre estate just south of Howell Mountain, and has been owned and operated by the Anderson family since 1983.

One wine you might get to try at an Anderson’s Conn Valley wine tasting is the 2009 Right Bank, a ruby blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot with an aroma of espresso, cedar, blackcurrant and black pepper. This is a full-bodied wine with a rich finish, tasting of ripe black fruit, mocha and chocolate. Join the Anderson’s Conn Valley wine club today.

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