When visiting a wine region you may be keen to learn how to wine taste. So if you’re looking for wine tasting near Cannes, visit us at Le Mas Candille where we pride ourself on our highly-rated wine tasting. Whether you’re a seasoned wine drinker or a complete novice, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to indulge in the complexities of wine tasting than France, the home of, arguably, the world’s best wine. Now is the time to swot up on wine tasting jargon and absorb all the wine tasting tips!

With reams of vineyards to be discovered, France offers the wine adventure of a lifetime.  If wine tasting is new to you, what are some of the basic practices you should be aware of? We’ve created a brief list to help you tap into your inner wine connoisseur!

how to wine taste

Using Sight

You may have seen wine tasters squinting at their glass from various angles – we’ll unravel the reasons behind this! Before tasting, you can glean a lot of information about the wine just by using your eyes. You can discover a number of characteristics of the wine just by looking:


 To establish the depth of colour, look straight down into the wine glass. Learning about colour saturation will help you identify a wine before tasting. You can also tilt the glass slightly up against the light to get a better view of the full colour range of the wine. The following saturations generally signify the following:


Light-Bodied. Lighter, translucent bright purple to garnet – possibly a Pinot Noir, St. Laurent, Zweigelt, Gamay

Medium-Bodied. Medium rich colours belong to wines such as Zinfandel and Sangiovese

Full-Bodied. Deeply coloured and opaque may be a Syrah, Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon

Dull brown wines are typically past their prime

Orange toned wines tend to be Merlot and Nebbiolo


Light-Bodied. Clear to pale yellow-green wines tend to be best enjoyed cold and include wines such as Pinot Grigios, Muscadet.

Medium-Bodied. White wines with gold hues include Sauvignon Blancs, Chenin Blancs and Unoaked Chardonnays.

Full-Bodied. A darker yellow is usually a wine with less acidity, such as a Chardonnay or Viognier.


wine tasting south of France



Hold the wine up to the light and look at the glass sideways to check the clarity. If you spot some murkiness, this could be a sign of fermentation issues or just some sediment from an unfiltered wine. Generally, good wine is clear.

Age and Weight

 When you tilt a wine glass, focus on the thinner layer of wine toward the rim. Look out for brown tinges which might suggest the wine is old.

Sugar and Alcohol Content

 By placing the glass on a flat surface and carefully swirling the glass, you can learn a lot about the wine. The wine that runs down the side of the glass when you swirl it is referred to as the wine’s ‘legs’. A wine that leaves strong legs down the side of the glass (as opposed to thin legs that quickly run back down into the wine) has higher alcohol and glycerine content, meaning the flavour will likely be dense and full.


wine tasting tips

Using smell

 Now you’ve had a good look at the wine and possibly gathered some information about the age, quality type and density of the wine, you can begin educating yourself further using your nose! You can generally pick out primary, secondary and tertiary aromas. Primary aromas derive from grapes, secondary aromas come from the winemaking process and tertiary are generated by age.

Begin by swirling the wine to allow the wine to capture some oxygen and produce a rounded fragrance. Using several short sniffs above the rim of the glass, you can pick up on notes which suggest if the wine is vinegary, fruity, botanical, earthy or reminiscent of the barrel aromas. A musty-smelling wine is a clear sign of corking which is not rectifiable.

wine tasting jargon

Using Taste

Now you’ve had an opportunity to observe the wine through sight and smell, take a sip and draw the wine over your tastebuds, gently allowing air in at the same time so that the wine is aerated and gives you a full picture of the flavours. You can confirm whether your flavour predictions were correct and also ascertain further depth to the characteristics of the wine:

Well-balanced wines have basic flavours in even proportions to avoid the wine being too sour, sugary, astringent, bitter or not acidic enough.

Harmonious wines have a seamless blend of flavours, making it difficult to decipher where one flavour ends and another begins.

Complex wines present a type of enjoyable ‘journey’ for your taste buds as the flavours continuously change during the drinking process.

Complete wines are the perfect blend of balanced, harmonious and complexed with a lingering and pleasant finish.

For an amazing opportunity to try authentic wine tasting near Cannes, why not try out your newfound wine tasting knowledge and skills at the wine cellar at Le Mas Candille? Led by Julien Leroux, Head Sommelier of our Michelin star restaurant, Le Candille, experience our exclusive wine tasting experience (browse our 2019 wine list here). Try wines from Bordeaux, Bourgogne, the Rhone Valley and the Provence region on our terrace, in the bar or wine cellar while enjoying a selection of cheese and charcuterie, prepared by chef Basile Arnaud.

While here, embrace the roots of wine culture and explore local vineyards for a truly authentic experience. Visits can be easily arranged to popular vineyards such as Bellet in Nice, Gavaisson in the Var, or with monks on Isle St. Honorat in Cannes.

Let us teach you how to wine taste and make the most of what wine tasting near Cannes has to offer! Book today!