You see it a lot. As soon as the wine is poured in the glass, the first thing someone will do is raise the glass and look at the wine. But why do this you may ask?
In a past blog we examined the "Five S's of Wine Tasting" that include See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Swallow. So, let's focus on "See." You'll find that a lot can be learned from just looking at the wine in the glass.
One thing that can quickly be detected by looking at your wine are flaws. One flaw is oxidation. It can be noted by dis-colorization of the wine and is easily spotted if you know what you're look for. Wines take on brown hues with age. Whites can become golden to almost orange. Reds will show these brown hues around the edges of the glass. Usually, a white wine that is showing brown hues is too old. But, with a red wine, it may simply be a visual demonstration that the wine has become a bit oxidized with age. This is not necessarily a flaw but it could be a warning sign before you continue through the Five S's.
Another thing you might see in your glass is sediment. If you see small particles in the wine or sticking to the side of the glass, it indicates that the wine is either unfiltered or has developed some sediment in the bottle during the aging process. Sediment itself is not a flaw but it's typically an unpleasant sensation in your mouth when you get a bunch of it. This can easily be fixed at home by filtering the bottle before drinking or, if you've ordered the wine at a restaurant, you can request another bottle or to have the bottle filtered.
You can also learn a bit about the wine's body by looking at it. But, we'll save that for next time. Until then, cheers!