In Wine Country it’s all see, smell, sip, and spit.

I’m writing this in a room at the Flamingo Resort & Spa in Santa Rosa. Once the hangout of Hollywood stars and movie producers, this weekend it’s home to a group of over 250 wine bloggers attending the Wine Bloggers Conference ’09. Having just started my own wine blog, The Green Wine Guide, which focuses on eco-friendly and sustainable wines and wineries around the world, I thought it would be informative and fun to head to California for the conference. 

So I’m here in wine country, planning to learn as much as I can about wine blogging by some of the best in the country. And while I’m at it, to looks like I’ll be tasting a whole lot of wine (it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it).  But being more a wine drinker than a wine taster, I keep having to remind myself of the 4S of wine.

See – pick up a lot about a wine by just by holding the glass of wine up, tilting it this way and that, and looking at the color.

Smell – swirling the glass releases the wine’s aroma for you to sniff and try to decihper.

Sip – taking a small sip enough to coat the tongue will allow you to taste all the wine’s flavors. Meanwhile, you should be inhaling through your mouth to aerate the wine.

Spit – the pro’s do it so why shouldn’t you. Spit into the spittoon, usually a bucket or something just as uninspiring. And make sure to pay attention to how long the flavors linger in your mouth.

And that’s all it takes.

Sure would be much easier, though, just to drink it.

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