Welcome to Mark O’Neill’s Wine Blog

Wine tasting involves three actions: looking (colour), smelling and tasting. Unfortunately most people don’t get the part of how important and revealing the aromas of wine can be. Many people think that they do not know how to smell wine or they feel that somehow they lack the ability or the knowledge to appreciate what they are drinking.  All those flavours and smells, are sometimes just words written on a back label or jargon used with discussing wines.

 It is not necessary to be over specific when describing a wine, instead just enjoy the smells and delightful aromas. When you walk past a bakery or restaurant kitchen you enjoy the smells but don’t feel you have to find an elaborate description.
Start by vigorously swirling the glass and put your nose into it breathing deeply to really get full range of aromas.  The swirling part is key because what it does is bring more of the surface area of the wine in contact with the air releasing the esters which carry the aromas and tell us what is in the glass.
Does it smell pleasant? Fruity or farmyardy? Is there any oak or vanilla aromas? Just as importantly if it does not smell good, is it corked, or oxidised or just off?  One of the main differences between professional tasters and amateurs is the attention paid to smelling
With just a little bit of practise you can improve your ability to pick out those pepper notes of tobacco in your Syrah.  But the best part of practice involves a deliberate effort to do more swirling, sniffing, and swallowing.
It’s tough work, but we’re sure you’ll manage.
If you have any questions drop us a line and well get back to you.
Written by

I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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