Wine tasting is more than just gulping down one mouthful of wine after another. In order to get the full experience of wine tasting it's helpful to prepare your palate. This allows you the opportunity to really appreciate each wine's flavors and textures. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for your next wine tasting.
Before your tasting, try to avoid eating or drinking anything that has a strong flavor. Things like coffee, tobacco, and garlic can linger on your palate and change the taste of wine. Try to stick to weaker flavors before you taste so you can get the full flavor of the wine without the influence of other foods. Something you may not have thought about that also has a strong flavor is toothpaste, so try to avoid wine tasting directly after brushing your teeth.
Tasting before a meal is a good way to prepare your palate. Your taste buds are more receptive before you eat than after. However, keep in mind that if you taste on an empty stomach you will be more apt to feel the effects of the alcohol so eat before your tasting, but not directly before.
Be conscious of the order in which you taste your wines for the best experience. It may be beneficial to taste dry to sweet, as the sugar in sweet wines tends to stick to your palate and effect the taste of the dry wines. Heavy, tannic red wines can also tire out your palate quicker than sweet whites.
Drinking water frequently while tasting can also help refresh your mouth and give you the best tasting experience. On top of the tasting benefit, drinking water will also keep you hydrated and help to counter the alcohol so you can taste more without a hindered perception.