Lunch: 12:00 to 15:00 Dinner: 18:00 to 22:00

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The Basics of Wine Tasting

  • By : LBMarketing
  • On : January 28, 2019

For the wine aficionado, drinking wine is an entire experience rather than a simple beverage. In fact, wine can be enjoyed using more than just one of the five senses. Wine tasting is a great way of becoming familiar with the best way to enjoy different wines, although this can be a little daunting to those who haven’t experienced it before.

This is why we’ve put together a guide to the basics of wine tasting so you can familiarise yourself with it for your next wine tasting experience.

wine glasses

Engaging the Senses

When you are tasting wine, it’s not just your taste buds that you are using. In fact, you will need to engage your other senses such as smell and sight. These senses will help you to take the time to take in every element of the wine, making your tasting all the better.


Step 1 – Sight

The first step you take in wine tasting is to really look at the wine in front of you. Take in everything about it from the colour to the opacity. Older white wines tend to have a deeper and richer colour than young wines, developing a golden tint as they age. Red wines on the other hand, tend to clear over time, turning from a deep reddish purple colour to a well defined ruby or garnet colour.

Step 2 – Smell

Smell and taste are closely intertwined, so this is an important step in the process. The language used when talking about this step may be unfamiliar to you, so here are a few terms to get to grips with:

  • Wine aroma – refers to the scent that comes from the type of grape used
  • Wine bouquet – refers to the scent that is imbued from the winemaking process itself

The term, ‘bouquet’ is more commonly associated with older wines as the winemaking process has been long enough for the wine to have developed scents from fermentation and ageing.

When you smell the wine, you should start by gently swirling it around your glass, allowing the different facets of the wine’s aroma to be released. Then take a sniff inside the glass and take in the aromas. Perhaps you’ll be able to pick up on the leather fragrance in a deep red, or maybe the peach notes in a light white.

Step 3 – Taste

Once you’ve taken in the different elements of the wine based on sight and smell, you can now taste the wine. As you sip the wine, move it around your mouth, allowing every part of your tongue to take the taste in. After swallowing or spitting, pause so you can contemplate the flavour that remains. Again, there is a vocabulary used when discussing the flavours and aromas of wine. These words fall into a number of categories, including:

  • Flower – iris, lilac, rose
  • Earth – red beet, slate, volcanic rocks
  • Spice – thyme, eucalyptus, fennel
  • Microbial – mushroom, lager, sourdough
  • Citrus – lemon, grapefruit, marmalade
  • Vegetable – tomato, grass, bell pepper
  • General ageing – leather, tobacco, coffee

It may not come naturally to associate some of these flavours with wine, but with a little practice, you should be able to identify the different elements with a bit more ease.

Wine tasting is a great way of getting to know different wines, helping you to enhance your experience of the drink.

At Bella Cosa, we have an extensive wine menu with bottles from all over the world, and with a wine room, dedicated to private dining, you can truly experience great wine when you dine with us.

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      Described on a review as a hidden gem and absolutely true , it wasn’t on the same main track as lots of other bars and restaurants. We walked half an hour from the harbour In the rain for one of the best meals we’ve had,...More

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      Without any question this is one of the most fabulous restaurants in the City of London. Every time I return to fabled restaurant I am left dreaming about my next visit! The service is 2nd to none and the food is simply sublime.

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      Having stayed in the Marsh Wall area many times I have always looked for different places to eat. I haven’t come across Bella Costa until January and what a great discovery it was. The staff were polite and really helpful, the food was delicious and...More

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      Food is great, quality wines, pleasant atmosphere, professional and friendly staff. Will definitely visit again when next in Canary Wharf.

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      Don't waste a Saturday night in this place it' has no atmosphere and we asked house red wine with our meal and were charged 40£ per bottle. The food was mediocre we felt rushed in an almost empty restaurant and were given the bill without...More

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      We visited to celebrate a birthday after hearing about rave reviews from a friend. We were very impressed with the service, quality and portion of food and enjoyed the wines as well. Pastas can be ordered as half portions as starters. The price of the...More

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      At last a special place in the Docklands area, Bella Cosa more than ticks the box! Pre-booked a table and embraced with a warm Italian welcome we were seated upstairs. The restaurant is upstairs and there is a bar and more casual seating downstairs with...More

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      We had an amazing dinner, good quality food and very good and friendly staff. Quiet place perfect for romantic dates.

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      One of the finest Italian Restaurants in London , and not only.......great italian cusine , elevated italian wine selection and warm italian hospaitality owner Antonio is lookingprsonlly after his Guests ...... MUST TRY THE PISTACHIO iCE CREAM WITH OLIVE OIL......JUST SUPERB !!! George

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      went for lunch beautiful quiet setting overlooking the river.nicely decorated restaurant with excellent service and food. service was spot on with all the little touches... Food was excellent...just nice will be going back very soon..

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Bella Cosa Restaurant,
Drewry House,
213 Marsh Wall,
E14 9FJ

12:00 to 15:00 for Lunch and 18:00 to 22:00 for Dinner Monday to Sunday.
Last order at 14:45 and 21:45 for Lunch and Dinner respectively.
Last drink order at 22:30


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The restaurant is currently closed for renovations.

Please bear with us during this time. We will update you as soon as we can with the new opening date.

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