My intention here in this Section is to simply educate and introduce people to what I consider important factors to be cognizant of, and to better appreciate, as you begin to dive into wine tasting more intensely. This discussion is by no means completely comprehensive, and I would venture to guess there are other factors that some would consider even more significant that perhaps should be covered here. However, without taking on the topic to the extent of writing a huge wine encyclopedia, I’ve decided to simply focus on a few key considerations. Many of these topics are covered quite well in the various books provided in my Reference Section of this website. There are a number of things you may want to consider when you’re wine tasting, in order to help you experience the wine the way the winemaker intended. Some of the more obvious factors would include paying attention to your senses. For instance, if you have a cold, and your sense of smell/taste is significantly impaired, you may want to postpone the tasting, or at the very least be careful about any decisions you make regarding the wines you sample. Chewing gum, candies or having breath mints just prior to, or during a tasting will most certainly affect your ability to effectively enjoy wine and identify/discriminate flavor characteristics. In addition, smoking will also impact your ability to appropriately experience a wine. This is not to say one can’t drink wine while enjoying a cigar or a cigarette. I often smoke a cigar with a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. However, if I’m conducting a wine review or otherwise attempting to taste wines to determine if I want to buy them or recommend them, I will refrain from doing things that negatively affect my palate.