Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting
As you know, the ladies of Team LC love to wine with each other. Which is why we are all members of Club W—think of it as the wine club, reinvented! When we told Allison of Team LC about Club W, she wanted to become a member of Club W too, so that she could see what we were always obsessing over. We had her document her experience for all of you who haven’t ordered your first box of Club W wines yet.

Here’s what Allison had to say…

“I love that I don’t have to run to the store anymore and wander the wine aisle stressing about which bottle to choose. I hated trying to guess which bottle was actually worth the price and always ended up randomly picking whichever label looked best. Big? Bold? Acidic? These adjectives always overwhelmed me, but having Club W walk me through each wine has made me so much more knowledgeable. Each bottle is picked specifically for my taste and they send me the perfect recipe to go with it. It’s like having a personal wine tutor! They give me suggestions on where to serve it (bbq, girls night, family dinner) and how (chill it in the fridge, decant it etc.) The fact that I have wine at my door every month makes life so easy! Whether the occasion is my best friend getting into a fight with her boyfriend, celebrating someone’s birthday or just wanting a night to myself to relax after a long day at work…I am always ready with the perfect bottle of wine!”

Here’s how you get started:

  1. Click on this link, and Team LC will buy your first bottle!
  2. Take Club W’s 30 second Palate Profile QuizTM to get matched with 3 bottles of delicious wine.
  3. Either go with their recommendations or choose your own bottles.
  4. Check-out and receive your wine in 2-3 days!
  5. Once you get your wine, it’s time to pop some bottles and taste!

Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting
Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting
Now that we’re all officially members of Club W, we couldn’t wait to have an official tasting of Allison’s first box. However, we realized we still had a lot of questions about the best way to taste wine. Luckily, we got the chance to chat with Club W’s Chief Wine Officer Brian Smith! Here are 6 tips and tricks that he shared with us:

Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting

1. How do you properly taste a wine?

  • Have a Look. The first step we take when evaluating a wine is to examine the wine’s appearance or “sight.” Is it a pretty pink hue or does it look deep and dark?
  • Take a Whiff. Our sense of smell triggers more memories than any other one of our senses, so this is where we can really let loose with the descriptions. Remember that we all have our own unique memory bank and we respond to different aromas at different levels of intensity. Something that screams cherry cola to you may be undetectable to your neighbor. So, if you smell something, don’t be afraid to shout it out! Make sure to give the wine a good swirl in the glass to bring the aromas to life.
  • Time to Sip. Take a sip and percolate the wine in your mouth by gently drawing a little air through your lips. This will open the wine up for you, bringing a myriad of flavors to life. Swishing the wine around in your mouth can also be helpful in observing the components that give a wine structure (i.e. acidity and tannin). When tasting the wine, it is always important to look at a wine’s balance. Ask yourself if any part of the wine stands out. Is it a big fruit-driven wine? Is it a wine that is dominated by a dry taste? Also take time to notice the finish. Notice if the wine shuts down immediately after swallowing, or if it shows a lengthy finish with flavors that continue to evolve long after the wine has been swallowed.

Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting
Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting
2. What’s the best method for rinsing out your glass in between wines if you are using the same glass?

It’s good to rinse with a little drop of the new wine then dump it at all out. Wine on wine never hurt anyone! Avoid using water—it will make your next wine taste watered down.

3. What’s the best way to take notes of wines you like and don’t like at a wine tasting? Are there any specific keywords to use?

Think about flavor, texture, and balance. Ask yourself: Were the flavors fruity, jammy, earthy, dirty? For texture: Was it soft and velvety or dry and aggressive? Use a plus or star system for each of these categories and then make a final call on balance. Balance is how the flavors and the texture work together. Do they seamlessly blend together? Or are these components clunky and out of sync? Ultimately, a well-balanced wine is the most enjoyable. Of course everyone has a different idea of what that means, but that is the fun part of it!

If you need some help getting started, you can always start by checking out what  Brian Smith and the team at Club W said about the wine. Each wine  you receive has a fun, quick tasting notes video where they taste the wine with you and tell you what they think. You can check out the videos before you choose your wine, or go back to Club W when you receive your wines. Even better, with the Club W app, you just scan the wine’s barcode and the video pops up on your phone. When you rate your wines on the website, or using the app, they take your preferences into account when determining which wines to recommend to you for your next shipment.

Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting

4. What are the three best snacks to serve at a wine tasting?

A cheese and charcuterie plate is perfect for wine tasting. Serve a mix of different types of cheeses and cured meats. Trying two cheeses with a single wine or vice versa is an amazing way to get a quick lesson in food pairing. You wouldn’t believe how different a big Napa Cabernet tastes when paired with goat cheese versus a hearty blue cheese. If you’re having your friends over for more than snacks, you can plan your menu using the recipe pairing that Club W sends with each wine to be sure that your meal pairs perfectly.

Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting

5. How are you supposed to cleanse your palette in between wines?

A little snack and some sparkling water will do the trick. Or, even better… sparkling wine!

6. How long is a wine still good after you open a bottle? For example, if you’re tasting a few bottles, do you have to finish every one that night?

Typically wines start to go downhill after a few days. After three to four days, you will start to notice a significant difference. There are systems and gases available to preserve bottles for an extra few days. But if you don’t have those, make sure your bottle is corked and keep it in the fridge.

Sip This: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Wine Tasting
And there you have it! We finished our evening feeling a little bit tipsy and a whole lot smarter about wine. We already can’t wait to get next month’s delivery!

There are endless reasons why Club W makes life easier, if you want to sign up for delicious wine delivered right to your door use our link to get your discount.

And now for our giveaway!

Today Club W is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a Spring Party Box! You can take a peek below to see what’s inside…(Hint: A SIGNED copy of Lauren Conrad’s Beauty Book is the perfect pairing for your #wineing)

Spring Party Box Giveaway with + Club WUPDATE – We have our winner! Congratulations to Paige Mueller for winning our Spring Party Box!

  1. Become a Club W member! Team LC has already bought you your first bottle:
  2. Post a picture of you & your best friends that you want to wine with (Use hashtag “winemeLC” and tag @clubw in caption)
  3. Follow @ClubW’s Instagram page and tag 5 friends that you want to wine with to their CLUBWxLC contest post!

We will announce the winner on Tuesday, May 26th. Good luck!

XO Team LC

This post was proudly sponsored by…
Club W


Photos: Lindsay Nathanson for